Vulnerability Study of Health Human Resources in the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Emergency Care, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 University of Allameh Tabatabaee, Tehran, Iran

4 Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objectives: Health human resources is the major asset of the health system. The status of human resources in upstream and regulatory health organizations can exert high impact on the effectiveness of health policies and the performance of health system. This study, hence, was designed to explore the possible area of human resource damage to the employees of the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME).   Methods: A total of 316 MOHME staff was surveyed. A questionnaire containing 36 items related to three dimensions of human resources damage, including behavioral, structural, and contextual dimensions was designed and used as the study tool. The content validity of the questionnaire was ensured by applying the experts’ opinions. The reliability of the instrument was ensured by obtaining a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.93. T-test and Friedman test were sued for inferential analysis of the data.   Findings: The behavioral dimension was perceived to represent the most vulnerable area of human resources damage, followed by structural and contextual dimensions.  In regard to the behavioral dimension, ‘motivational factors’ was perceived to be the most important area of damage, followed by ‘job satisfaction’ and ‘job security’. Regarding structural dimension, ‘appointment and job promotion’ received the highest perceived significance, followed by ‘payment system’ and ‘recruitment’.   Conclusions: This study ranks the area of damage to health human resources in MOHME. Our results support the previous studies highlighting the role of behavioral factors in bringing damage to human resources. Our findings, therefore, could be applied to development of human resources supporting plans aimed at improving the performance of upstream governmental health organizations. Specifically, providing motivating incentives and implementing strategies supporting job satisfaction and job security can bring significant protection to health human resources.