How to recruit the right type of students? Which competencies should they equip their graduates with? What profile of educators and trainers and which learning strategies are more appropriate? Transforming the education and training of health workers requires changing a system that has not worked and using the evidence of that same deficient system to bring about change.
Regulation and accreditation are essential components of any strategy to improve the performance of a healthcare system. Laws and regulations directly and indirectly affect “who in the health care world can do what to whom and where”. Policy-makers can view regulation as a tool in addressing workforce imbalances and other challenges, and meeting the objectives of scaling up health professionals’ training and education.
Financing is at the heart of enabling actions that make scaling up the education of health professionals feasible. How much education changes will cost and how much the country can afford? What are the sources of funding? Where to allocate the funds? How to ensure a flow of funds to make scaling up sustainable?
Monitoring and evaluation are key components of change implementation, but making them effective is often a challenge. Leaders planning the transformation of the health workforce’s education will face a number of challenging policy issues: what to monitor, how to do it, who should be responsible, and how to ensure that the information produced by monitoring and evaluation will be used?
To change the education of health professionals is a very political process that takes place in a complex environment. A new model for the education of health professionals supposes major cultural and organizational changes, and it requires important new investments. All this requires a strategic approach to transforming and scaling up, and some form of planning, in terms of clearly defining the expected results, what needs to done to achieve them, how it will be done and with what resources.