Recruiting, retaining, and educating a high-quality workforce—a modern, learning, and supported workforce
All healthcare systems, however financed or organised, need adequate numbers of well-trained, high-quality staff to meet the needs of their population. Recruitment and retention of the appropriate healthcare workforce has become increasingly difficult for the system in Qatar. The shortage of quality human resources—physicians, nurses, therapists, and other health professionals—acts as a significant constraint. Without the appropriately skilled human resources, realising the goals of a world class healthcare system is not achievable.
A comprehensive healthcare workforce strategy is needed, with the main aim of building, strengthening and enhancing long-term national capacity to ensure sustainability. This will necessitate obtaining a high-calibre workforce—both Qatari and expatriate—that has the required skills, including leadership, to assure a high-quality healthcare system.
The following are the identified projects for the NHS 2011–2016 required to achieve this goal:
- Given global shortages of healthcare professionals, Qatar’s current recruitment and retention strategies and its medical education capacity are a potential constraint for future requirements.
- Both short- and long-term healthcare workforce planning will help ensure that Qatar’s health sector has the adequate number of skilled personnel to sustain a quality health system into the future, as well as the right types of skills and professions within the service delivery team.
- This planning must focus on ensuring sustainability of the system through national capacity-building, while at the same time recognizing the value of the expatriate workforce
Recruitment and retention
- Reduce barriers to recruitment of a quality workforce, both Qatari and expatriate (e.g., human resources [HR] law), and increase retention through improvements in workers’ morale and satisfaction and better incentives (e.g., making available training and professional development opportunities for all staff).
- Ensure appropriate Qatarisation—with adequate support, mentorship, and training—so that both the individual and the organisation benefit.
- A pragmatic approach to health professional education is needed to increase the number of Qataris and long-term residents in healthcare.
- This approach must be multifaceted to include reduced barriers to admission, enhanced sponsorship programmes, awareness campaigns around health professions, and diversification in the number of institutions available to capable students, both locally and internationally.
Optimising skill mix
- Effectively utilise the available healthcare workforce by appropriately optimising the range of work that can be undertaken by different professionals.
- Recruit and develop new classes of healthcare workers (e.g., nurse practitioners) to meet Qatar’s changing needs.
- Foster team-based collaborative models of service delivery.