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date: 20 April 2024

Health Workforce: Situations and Challenges in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Brazillocked

Health Workforce: Situations and Challenges in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Brazillocked

  • Maria Helena Machado, Maria Helena MachadoEscola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sérgio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
  • Renato Penha de Oliveira Santos, Renato Penha de Oliveira SantosUniversidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia
  • Pedro Miguel dos Santos Neto, Pedro Miguel dos Santos NetoInstituto Aggeu Magalhães, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
  • Vanessa Gabrielle Diniz SantanaVanessa Gabrielle Diniz SantanaInstituto Aggeu Magalhães, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
  •  and Francisco Eduardo de CamposFrancisco Eduardo de CamposCentro de Saúde Coletiva e Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


The greatest challenge in the development of universal health systems worldwide is to increase organization, training, and regulation of the health workforce (HWF). To accomplish this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has pointed out several strategies utilized since the beginning of the 2000s.

One of the world regions with the greatest internal HWF disparities is the Americas, more specifically Latin America and the Caribbean. Brazil is another of the countries in this region that presents great inequities in its HWF distribution, although its Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, or SUS), created after 1988, is one of the largest universal health systems in the world. It is worth noting that Latin America, the Caribbean, and Brazil historically have high levels of social inequality and have recently become regions severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite some advances in the formation and distribution of HWF in Latin America and the Caribbean in the last 10 years, structural problems persist in the health systems of several countries in this region, such as Brazil. The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated some problems such as the distribution of specialized health workers in intensive care units and the precarious working conditions in several public health services that were organized to face the pandemic.


  • Public Health Profession

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