International migration policies and data

Health Workforce


Health Workforce - web image

The OECD advises countries on how to meet future demand for health professionals and how to manage the supply of health workers, by reviewing policies related to education and training, continuous professional development, geographic distribution and immigration. The OECD also assesses changes in the scope of practice of health care providers, and the impact that these changes might have on access, quality and efficiency in health service delivery.




20 September 2016 - Final report and recommendations presented at the margins of the UN General Assembly

In March 2016, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon officially established a High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. The Commission is co-chaired by Mr François Hollande, President of France, and Mr Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, and co-vice-chaired by Dr. Margaret Chan (WHO), Mr. Guy Ryder (ILO) and Mr. Angel Gurría (OECD).

The Commission has come up with a set of 10 global recommendations to stimulate the creation of new employment opportunities in the health and social sector across all countries, especially in the least-developed countries, as a means to improve population health outcomes and to generate inclusive economic growth, beneficial in particular to women and youth.

>> A webinar presenting the results will take place on October 20Health Workforce: An investment, not a cost
Thursday, October 20, 2016  - 3:45:00 PM CEST - 5:15:00 PM CEST
Register now


20 September 2016 - Launch event of the WHO-OECD-ILO report “Working for Health and Growth: Investing in the Health Workforce” (New York City, United States)

19 September 2016 - Second meeting of the Commission (New York City, United States)

For more information about the Commission, visit

Key information on health workforce

Health workforce policies in OECD countries

Health Workforce Policies in OECD Countries - Right Jobs, Right Skills, Right Places

Released 15 March 2016

Health workers are the cornerstone of health systems, playing a central role in providing health services to the population and improving health outcomes. The demand and supply of health workers have increased over time in all OECD countries, with jobs in the health and social sector accounting for more than 10% of total employment now in several OECD countries. This publication reviews key trends and policy priorities on health workforce across OECD countries, with a particular focus on doctors and nurses given the preeminent role that they have traditionally played in health service delivery.




Workshop - Towards a more efficient use of health human resources: What lessons can we learn from innovations across OECD countries? - 27 June 2016

The OECD Health Division organised a workshop to discuss changes in skill mix and scope of practice of health workers on 27 June 2016. Its main purpose was to promote meaningful exchanges of experiences across OECD countries in re-configuring the traditional roles and responsibilities of different categories of health workers to achieve a more efficient use of human resources. The workshop gathered around 60 participants from Health ministries, academia, European and international organisations (EU, WHO) and professional associations.

>> Please click here to view the agenda

Workshop presentations:


Data on Health Workforce

Health at a Glance 2015

Health workforce chapter in Health at a Glance 2015 - OECD Indicators:

Health at a Glance - Europe 2014

Health workforce data in Health at a Glance - Europe 2014:

Health at a Glance - Asia/Pacific 2014

Health workforce data in Health at a Glance - Asia/Pacific 2014:

For more data on health workforce, go to the dataset on Health Care Resources in OECD.Stat.



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