Flexibilization of regulations of health professionals' practices in response to the COVID-19
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Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A381
Background and Objective: Brazil is one of the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given its rapid spread, governments and health services had to act with the same speed to expand their health workforce capacity. This study aimed to identify strategies related to optimizing the health workforce, especially those related to the flexibilization of the scope of practice regulation of health professionals worldwide and in Brazil. Methods: We conducted a scoping review in September and October of 2020 following the stages proposed by the Joanna Briggs Institute to identify worldwide regulatory strategies related to the flexibility of the scope of practice regulation of health professionals. After classifying the strategies, we investigated how and which strategies were implemented in Brazil. Results: A total of 36 documents were identified and grouped into the type of strategies, professionals involved, and country of references. We identified six categories of strategies (1) enhancing scope of practice; (2) task shifting between health professionals; (3) telemedicine; (4) licensing and recruitment of idle workers; (5) recruitment of workers from other regions/states; and (6) education and training. Among the most important strategies identified, in several countries, including Brazil, in response to health workforce shortages and overloaded professionals, was the willingness to adapt, expand, and redistribute workers’ functions to deal with the rapid changes. However, in Brazil, we encountered several limitations due to rigid workforce regulations. Conclusions: Many countries and health organizations have experimented with new ways to unlock the potential of the health workforce. This review points to the urgent need for reforms in workforce regulation in Brazil to optimize and permit the use of full skillsets of the health workforce so that they can meet the population’s constant needs and adapt to new demands.
Design, delivery and effectiveness of health practitioner regulation systems: an integrative review
Kathleen Leslie, Ivy Bourgeault, Anne-Louise Carlton, Madhan Balasubramanian, Raha Mirshahi, Stephanie Short, Jenny Carè, Giorgio Cometto, Vivian Lin
Human Resources for Health