Stock and density of human resources for health

Stock and density of human resources for health

Stock and density of human resources for health

Total number of human resources for health (HRH) relative to the population, often expressed as a ratio. “Human resources for health” is defined here as the workers who deliver healthcare services, such as physicians, nursing professionals, midwives, and community health workers.

This indicator is calculated as:

(Total number of health workers in a given area/Total population of the same area) x 10,000 population

Data Requirement(s):

The population of a given area (country, region, or district) and the number of health workers currently working in that area

This indicator can be disaggregated by age, sex, urban/rural status, cadre, geographic distribution, and sector.

Human resources information system (HRIS), surveys, and population census

This indicator is used for human resources planning and is helpful for determining if there are enough skilled health workers to serve the target population. A good stock and density of health workers relative to the population is one indicator of a strong health system.

Many countries lack a functioning HRIS, making it difficult to obtain the data.  It is also difficult to identify if health workers are “skilled” or competent. Countries, regions, or districts may have an adequate number of health workers, but if they lack the needed skills, are poorly distributed, or are not assigned to appropriate posts, the population will experience significant gaps in health service delivery, which will not be captured by this indicator.

access, health system strengthening (HSS)