Unmasking the open secret of posting and transfer practices in the health sector

Health Policy Plan. 2015 Feb;30(1):121-30. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czt091. Epub 2013 Dec 9.


This article focuses on processes of granting posts and transfers to health care workers and administrators that can be described as 'mission inconsistent (MI)', meaning that they are not conducted in a way that maximizes health outcomes or that respects the norms of health care worker professionalism. We synthesize relevant literature from several different disciplinary perspectives to describe what is known about the problem of MI posting and transfer in the health sector, to critically engage and interrogate these literatures, and to briefly discuss efforts that have been made to maximize mission consistency. The article concludes by suggesting principles for future research that would foster a more complete understanding of posting and transfer practices.

Keywords: Accountability; developing countries; development; governance; government; health policy; health sector reform; health systems research; health workers; staffing levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Employee Discipline* / methods
  • Fraud
  • Health Personnel / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Policy
  • Personnel Management* / methods