A deficit of one million healthcare workers forecasted in the European Union by 2020 turns the ‘universal truth’ that there is ‘no health without a workforce’ into the perhaps biggest challenge for future healthcare systems and services management. We argue that effective healthcare management needs systematic connections with health workforce macro- and meso-levels of governance.
We seek to explore the overlaps and the benefits of closer connections using health workforce planning, recruitment and retention and the changes in the skills mix and competencies of the health workforce as three illustrative examples. Two major areas of management intervention are emerging: (1) changes in the composition of the skills and competencies in the health workforce guided by a needs-based services management approach rather than by professional interests and (2) changes in the management of workplace and career conditions.
Furthermore, an integrated governance approach is needed that connects innovations at the organizational level of services management with health workforce policy and systems-based governance interventions.