Understanding the Labour Market of Human Resources for Health in Zambia
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Universal health coverage depends on having the necessary human resources to deliver health care services. Zambia is among the African countries currently experiencing a crisis in the area of human resources for health (HRH). The major causes of the crisis include inadequate and inequitable distribution of health workers; high vacancy rates; insufficient education capacity to supply the desired levels of health workers needed by the market, inadequate wages and working conditions to attract and retain people into health work, particularly in rural underserved areas. This shortage affects most of the available health worker categories. The shortage and misdistribution of health workers stems from various labour market and governance factors, including an exodus of trained professionals to other countries in Africa and elsewhere. This document provides an overview of the HRH labour market in Zambia, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive approach to understanding the driving forces that affect the supply and demand for health workers, in order to provide a basis for developing effective HRH polices that can contribute to progress towards universal health coverage.