Equity and efficiency in medical manpower planning: defining objectives and looking towards the future
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If medical manpower planning is to be successful in terms of providing the correct future manpower levels to produce the desired (efficient) health care services then the planners must recognise the ultimate objectives of the provision of health care services and the production relationship between the services provided (inputs) and the effects on patient health status (outputs). Furthermore the planning of medical manpower should not be done in isolation under the implicit assumption that other important inputs will be available as required but should be part of an overall planning process for the future production of improvements in health status. Having determined the objectives for outputs the future levels of different types of manpower will depend on the identification of the efficient mix of inputs. In addition the values of other variables influencing the production relationship (e.g. trends in the consumption of certain goods) should be considered in the planning process since observed trends show that they do not remain constant over time.
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