Background Health systems are complex and continually changing across a variety of contexts and health service levels. The capacities needed by health managers and leaders to respond to current and emerging issues are not yet well understood. Studies to date have been country-specific and have not integrated different international and multi-level insights. This review examines the current and emerging challenges for health leadership and workforce management in diverse contexts and health systems at three structural levels, from the overarching macro (international, national) context to the meso context of organisations through to the micro context of individual healthcare managers. Methods A rapid review of evidence was undertaken using a systematic search of a selected segment of the diverse literature related to health leadership and management. A range of text words, synonyms and subject headings were developed for the major concepts of global health, health service management and health leadership. An explorative review of three electronic databases (MEDLINE®, Pubmed and Scopus) was undertaken to identify the key publication outlets for relevant content between January 2010 to July 2018. A search strategy was then applied to the key journals identified, in addition to hand searching the journals and reference list of relevant papers identified. Inclusion criteria were independently applied to potentially relevant articles by three reviewers. Data were subject to a narrative synthesis to highlight key concepts identified. Results Sixty-three articles were included. A set of consistent challenges and emerging trends within healthcare sectors internationally for health leadership and management were represented at the three structural levels. At the macro level these included societal, demographic, historical and cultural factors; at the meso level, human resource management challenges, changing structures and performance measures and intensified management; and at the micro level shifting roles and expectations in the workplace for health care managers. Conclusion Contemporary challenges and emerging needs of the global health management workforce orient around efficiency-saving, change and human resource management. The role of health managers is evolving and expanding to meet these new priorities. Ensuring contemporary health leaders and managers have the capabilities to respond to the current landscape is critical.
Background Tonga is a South Pacific Island country with a population of 100,651 (2016 Census). This study examines Tongan infant mortality rates (IMR), under-five mortality rates (U5MR), adult mortality and life expectancy (LE) at birth from 2010 to 2018 using a recent collation of empirical mortality data over the past decade for comparison with other previously published mortality estimates. Methods Routinely collected mortality data for 2010–2018 from the Ministry of Health, national (Vaiola) hospital, community nursing reports, and the Civil Registry, were consolidated by deterministic and probabilistic linkage of individual death records. Completeness of empirical mortality reporting was assessed by capture-recapture analysis. The reconciled data were aggregated into triennia to reduce stochastic variation, and used to estimate IMR and U5MR (per 1000 live births), adult mortality (15–59, 15–34, 35–59, and 15–64 years), and LE at birth, employing the hypothetical cohort method (with statistical testing). Mortality trends and differences were assessed by Poisson regression. Mortality findings were compared with published national and international agency estimates. Results Over the three triennia in 2010–2018, levels varied minimally for IMR (12–14) and U5MR (15–19) per 1000 births (both ns, p > 0.05), and also for male LE at birth of 64–65 years, and female LE at birth 69–70 years. Cumulated risks of adult mortality were significantly higher in men than women; period mortality increases in 15–59-year women from 18 to 21% were significant (p < 0.05). Estimated completeness of the reconciled data was > 95%. International agencies reported generally comparable estimates of IMR and U5MR, with varying uncertainty intervals; but they reported significantly lower adult mortality and higher LE than the empirical estimates from this study. Conclusions Life expectancy in Tonga over 2010–2018 has remained relatively low and static, with low IMR and U5MR, indicating the substantial impact from premature adult mortality. This analysis of empirical data (> 95% complete) indicates lower LE and higher premature adult mortality than previously reported by international agencies using indirect and modelled methods. Continued integration of mortality recording and data systems in Tonga is important for improving the completeness and accuracy of mortality estimation for local health monitoring and planning.
Accurate and reliable death statistics produced by civil registration and vital statistics systems are essential for health planning and programme evaluation. The quality of death registration data in Pacific island countries and territories remains suboptimal. Data on deaths occurring at sea are especially limited. While coastal and oceanic activities are the norm and essential to the livelihoods of Pacific island populations, such activities pose risks for accidents at sea, especially those involving small-scale vessels. In this paper, the scale of deaths at sea associated with small vessels in three Pacific island countries or territories over the period 2008-2017 is investigated using data from the health, civil registry, and police and fisheries departments, and reports produced by national statistics offices, ministries of health, the Pacific Community, the World Health Organization and media sources. Data on deaths at sea were found to be fragmented among multiple sources and missing key information on age, sex, and cause. Standardized procedures for reporting deaths and accidents at sea and harmonized data sharing between local communities and government agencies are urgently needed to improve civil registration and vital statistics systems and sea safety in the Pacific island subregion.
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