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Call for papers - Health workforce planning

Guest Editors:
Madhan Balasubramanian: Flinders University, Australia
Sunny C. Okoroafor: World Health Organization, Uganda

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 12 March 2024


BMC Health Services Research welcomes submissions that present health workforce evidence-based planning actions, policies, and closely related research. We are interested in work that examines all aspects of planning and managing human resources for healthcare, particularly, the cost aspects of such strategic actions and analysis of the health labor market, initiatives to scale up education and training for health workers, approaches to reduce workforce imbalances and improve availability of health workforce data and evidence, strengthen staff performance, or enhance staff attraction and retention.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Madhan Balasubramanian: Flinders University, Australia

Dr Madhan Balasubramanian is Business Research Lead, HDR Academic Advisor, and Senior Lecturer in Health and Aged Care Management at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. He specializes in integrated care, collaborative practice, migration, regulation, and future workforce modeling. In addition to his appointments at Flinders University, he holds honorary positions at the University of Sydney (Menzies Centre of Health Policy and Economics, School of Public Health) and the University of Adelaide (Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health).

Sunny C. Okoroafor: World Health Organization, Uganda

Dr Okoroafor is a Health Systems Strengthening Officer at WHO Uganda. His research focuses on health workforce, primary health care, service delivery and health systems governance.  For over 20 years, he has led several large-scale programs, conducted research across various sectors, and published several research papers in various journals, reports and health communication products. 

About the collection

BMC Health Services Research is calling for submissions to our Collection on Health workforce planning. 

Health workforce is the backbone of health systems, fundamental towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC), and meeting sustainable development goals (SDGs). Improving healthcare delivery and promoting timely access to care for all population groups depends on a strong and effective health workforce.

Availability, capacity, training, and performance of health workers vary a lot geographically. The inability to promptly deploy the right number of health personnel, with the right training and skillsets are available at the right place and at the right time to meet population needs, but at an acceptable cost and quality is a key issue negatively affecting the performance of health systems, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Health workforce planning is a complex process, involving trade-offs between multiple professional goals in education, training and regulation, and numerous uncertainties (demographic, epidemiological and technological).

A strategic and evidence-based approach to health workforce planning is vital to respond to changing health needs, map healthcare supply, demand and skills of health workers and adapt them to population needs in the immediate present and future, and in the development and emergency contexts.

BMC Health Services Research welcomes submissions that present health workforce evidence-based planning actions, policies, and closely related research. We are interested in work that examines all aspects of planning and managing human resources for healthcare, particularly, the cost aspects of such strategic actions and analysis of the health labor market, initiatives to scale up education and training for health workers, approaches to reduce workforce imbalances and improve availability of health workforce data and evidence, strengthen staff performance, or enhance staff attraction and retention.


Image credit: © Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty Images / iStock

  1. Oral health care is essential, and digital training may influence healthcare professionals’ attitudes to and knowledge of oral health. The aim, therefore, was to evaluate the impact on attitudes to and knowled...

    Authors: Maria Snogren, Kristina Ek, Maria Browall, Irene Eriksson and Ulrika Lindmark
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2024 24:174
  2. The Malaysian Allied Health Profession Act (Act 774) regulates the practice of allied health practitioners in Malaysia, with two described professions viz. allied health profession (AHP) and profession of allied ...

    Authors: L Mageswary Lapchmanan, Duratul Ain Hussin, Naji Arafat Mahat, Aik Hao Ng, Nurul Huda Bani, Salina Hisham, Wai Siew Teh, Mohd Azmarul A Aziz, Saravanakumar Maniam, Pauzilah Dollah, Nur Atiqah Hasbullah, Salini Manimaran, Hazirah Hassan and Farina Zulkernain
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2024 24:165
  3. The purpose of the study on the one hand is to see different hospital organization commitment have difference, including the overall score and various dimensions, on the other hand, due to the different hospit...

    Authors: Yirui Gao, Junli Zhu, Lujia Hu and Chen Chen
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1397
  4. The South African National Department of Health developed a quality improvement (QI) programme to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and still births. The programme was implemented between 2018 and 2022 in...

    Authors: Willem Odendaal, Terusha Chetty, Mark Tomlinson, Ameena Goga, Yages Singh, Shuaib Kauchali, Carol Marshall and Xanthe Hunt
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1382
  5. The Saudi Arabian Vision 2030 encompasses the Health Sector Transformation Program (HSTP), an initiative aimed at enhancing the accessibility, affordability, and quality of healthcare, with a strong emphasis o...

    Authors: Arwa Abdulrahman Althumairi, Fatmah Muhammad Bukhari, Layan Bassam Awary and Duaa Aljabri
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1328
  6. The COVID-19 pandemic involved a rapid change to the working conditions of all healthcare workers (HCW), including those in primary care. Organizational responses to the pandemic, including a shift to virtual ...

    Authors: Eric A. Apaydin, Danielle E. Rose, Michael R. McClean, David C. Mohr, Elizabeth M. Yano, Paul G. Shekelle, Karin M. Nelson, Rong Guo, Caroline K. Yoo and Susan E. Stockdale
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1306
  7. With the increased demand for health care services and with simultaneous staff shortages, new work models are needed in primary health care. In November 2015, a Swedish primary health care centre introduced a ...

    Authors: Maria Gelin, Berit Gesar, Ann-Sofie Källberg, Anna Ehrenberg and Catharina Gustavsson
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:1299

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Health workforce planning" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.