Health services sector

Health services are one of the fundamental sectors of society and the economy. The ILO endorses the fundamental principles of the human right to health and social protection. Providing social health protection and equal access to quality health care has significant positive effects on individual and public health, economic growth and development. The health sector is also a major employment sector, with important potential in job creation.

Yet, the affordability of health care challenges most countries. The global shortages and unequal distribution of qualified health personnel are a major constraint in providing universal access to health care. Wide-spread reforms of health systems are continuously changing the employment environment for health care workers.

Decent work for health workers is essential to provide quality health care. Health services are unique and complex work environments with inherent opportunities and challenges. The ILO supports improvement of working conditions and labour relations in the health sector through sectoral labour standards and social dialogue, and collaborates with World Health Organization (WHO) to promote supportive, enabling and healthy work environments for the health workforce.