Working Together for Health - A National Strategic Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning


Global and regional health workforce demand is expected to increase in the coming decades as a consequence of population and economic growth, combined with demographic, epidemiological and other factors.

In this context, the European Commission estimates a potential shortfall of around 1 million health workers by 2020 (EU, 2012) and the WHO predicts a global deficit of 18 million skilled health professionals by 2030 (WHO, 2016).

The health sector in Ireland is already experiencing challenges in the recruitment and retention of health professionals, including doctors and nurses. While targeted efforts are underway to address current recruitment and retention issues, the potential impact of emerging and accelerating global and regional health workforce shortages on health professional recruitment and retention presents a significant strategic risk to the effective functioning of the Irish health system in the coming years.

In line with the Departmentâ?Ts Statement of Strategy 2016-2019, in June 2016, a Cross-Sectoral Steering Group was convened to develop a strategic framework for health and social care workforce planning for Ireland that will support the recruitment and retention of the right mix of health workers across the health system to meet planned and projected service need.

As well as the Department of Health, the Steering Group included officials from the Departments of Education and Skills, Public Expenditure and Reform, Children and Youth Affairs, Justice and Equality, Business, Enterprise and Innovation as well as representatives of the HSE, Tusla, the Higher Education Sector and agencies under the aegis of the Department of Health.  The Framework was approved by the Minister for Health at the end of October.

Read the Framework document here.

Department of Health (Ireland)