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Human Resources Planning and the Production of Health: A Needs-Based Analytical Framework


  • Stephen Birch
  • George Kephart
  • Gail Tomblin-Murphy
  • Linda O'Brien-Pallas
  • Rob Alder
  • Adrian MacKenzie


Traditional approaches to health human resources planning emphasize the effects of demographic change on the needs for health human resources. Planning requirements are largely based on the size and demographic mix of the population applied to simple population-provider or population-utilization ratios. We develop an extended analytical framework based on the production of health-care services and the multiple determinants of health human resource requirements. The requirements for human resources are shown to depend on four separate elements: demography, epidemiology, standards of care, and provider productivity. The application of the framework is illustrated using hypothetical scenarios for the population of the combined provinces of Atlantic Canada.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Birch & George Kephart & Gail Tomblin-Murphy & Linda O'Brien-Pallas & Rob Alder & Adrian MacKenzie, 2007. "Human Resources Planning and the Production of Health: A Needs-Based Analytical Framework," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(s1), pages 1-16, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:33:y:2007:i:s1:p:1-16

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lomas, Jonathan & Stoddart, Greg L. & Barer, Morris L., 1985. "Supply projections as planning: A critical review of forecasting net physician requirements in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 411-424, January.
    2. Eyles, J. & Birch, S. & Chambers, S. & Hurley, J. & Hutchison, B., 1991. "A needs-based methodology for allocating health care resources in Ontario, Canada: Development and an application," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 489-500, January.
    3. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1999. "Population Aging and Its Economic Costs: A Survey of the Issues and Evidence," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 1, McMaster University.
    4. Gray, Alastair McI, 1982. "The Production of Dental Care in the British National Health Service," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 29(1), pages 59-74, February.
    5. Stephen Birch & John Lavis & Barbara Markham & Christel Woodward & Linda-Lee O'Brien-Pallas, 1994. "Nursing Requirements for Ontario Over the Next Twenty Years: Development and Application of Estimation Methods," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1994-13, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
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    Cited by:

    1. Britta Stoever, 2016. "Modelling the ambulant health-care sector in Germany," EcoMod2016 9214, EcoMod.
    2. Jambroes, Marielle & Lamkaddem, Majda & Stronks, Karien & Essink-Bot, Marie-Louise, 2015. "Enumerating the preventive youth health care workforce: Size, composition and regional variation in the Netherlands," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(12), pages 1557-1564.
    3. Tomblin Murphy, Gail & Kephart, George & Lethbridge, Lynn & O'Brien-Pallas, Linda & Birch, Stephen, 2009. "Planning for what? Challenging the assumptions of health human resources planning," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(2-3), pages 225-233, October.
    4. Asada, Yukiko & Kephart, George & Hurley, Jeremiah & Yoshida, Yoko & Smith, Andrea & Bornstein, Stephen, 2012. "The role of proximity to death in need-based approaches to health care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 291-302.
    5. Till Bärnighausen & David E. Bloom, 2009. "Changing Research Perspectives on the Global Health Workforce," NBER Working Papers 15168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Whittaker, William & Birch, Stephen & MacKenzie, Adrian & Murphy, Gail Tomblin, 2016. "Cohort effects on the need for health care and implications for health care planning in Canada," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 81-88.

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