Health Human Resourcing: Forecasting Human Resource Needs for Public Health in Ontario

A recent scoping review conducted by OPHA revealed a number of issues with the current research and enumeration data of the public health workforce. These include: a lack of overall evidence and data in Canada, inconsistent workforce taxonomy and reporting methodology, and weak justification for recommended workforce levels. Furthermore, there is a paucity of research forecasting the future needs of the public health workforce in Canada, including the province of Ontario. These issues seriously hinder proper workforce development and planning for Ontario’s public health system.

OPHA is therefore interested in better understanding the future staffing levels needed in specific disciplines of Ontario’s public health workforce. Various demographic, economic, social, educational, and health indicator parameters will be integrated into different forecasting models to determine the projected full-time equivalents that will be needed in the future. This will be a collaborative effort with various associations and organizations representing various public health disciplines.

An adequately staffed, trained, and motivated workforce is critical to effectively protect and promote the health of Ontarians. The findings of this novel project may strengthen the evidence-base to inform proper workforce planning for Ontario’s public health workforce.