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Governance in health workforce: how do we improve on the concept? A network-based, stakeholder-driven approach

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-02, 23:52 authored by MYH Lim, Vivian LinVivian Lin

© 2021 Optical Society of America. Users may use, reuse, and build upon the article, or use the article for text or data mining, so long as such uses are for non-commercial purposes and appropriate attribution is maintained. All other rights are reserved.

Background: Health workforce governance has been proposed as key to improving health services delivery, yet few studies have examined the conceptualisation of health workforce governance in detail and exploration in literature remains limited. Methods: A literature review using PubMed, Google Scholar and grey literature search was conducted to map out the current conceptualisation of health workforce governance. We identified all published literature relating to governance in health workforce since 2000 and analysed them on two fronts: the broad definition of governance, and the operationalisation of broad definition into key dimensions of governance. Results: Existing literature adopts governance concepts established in health literature and does not adapt understanding to the health workforce context. Definitions are largely quoted from health literature whilst dimensions are focused around the sub-functions of governance which emphasise operationalising governance practices over further conceptualisation. Two sub-functions are identified as essential to the governance process: stakeholder participation and strategic direction. Conclusions: Although governance in health systems has gained increasing attention, governance in health workforce remains poorly conceptualised in literature. We propose an improved conceptualisation in the form of a stakeholder-driven network governance model with the national government as a strong steward against vested stakeholder interests. Further research is needed to explore and develop on the conceptual thinking behind health workforce governance.


Publication Date



Human Resources for Health





Article Number



pp.10 (p. 1)


Springer Nature



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