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Monitoring the skills mix of the health workforce

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Statistics on the skills mix of the health workforce can help inform strategies to ensure the most appropriate and cost-effective combination of roles and staff.

Significant differences in levels and direction of national development and health system organization, as well as culture, lead to wide variations in the roles and tasks of health workers. Comparative analyses within and across countries and over time of skills mix indicators can be enhanced through the setting and use of common definitions and classifications.

The International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) is a framework for mapping and aggregating information on subgroups of the workforce according to assumed differences in skill level and skill specialization required to fulfill the tasks and duties of jobs.

It is intended to serve as a model to facilitate communication about occupations, to enhance comparability of data on the workforce mix from different and to make it possible for data and information on workers obtained from different sources to be produced in a form which can be useful for research as well as for decision-making and action.

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Monitoring the skills mix of the health workforce. Spotlight on health workforce statistics, issue 9, December 2009 [pdf 152kb]

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Statistics and figures

Density of health workforce in the Region per 1000 in 2011

Physicians 1.2

Nurses 1.8

Dentists 0.3

Pharmacists 0.5