World Health Organization seeks Medical Officer in Palliative Care

Categories: Leadership.

The post is for one year and the successful applicant will be based in Geneva, Switzerland, under the direct supervision of the SDS adviser responsible for palliative care.

Objectives of the programme

The Health Systems and Innovation (HIS) cluster mission includes fostering innovation for better health and supporting Member States to promote Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by strengthening health systems and innovative approaches.

Policy dialogue, informed by best available evidence and systematic learning, and supported by capacity strengthening, aims to improve equity in health, access, coverage, quality and efficiency of health services.

The mission of the Service Delivery and Safety (SDS) Department is to develop models, strategies and guidance to support countries in all parts of the world to improve the quality, safety, integration and responsiveness of health services’ delivery, with a particular focus on primary health care.

SDS has been established as a ‘centre of excellence’ focusing on issues of policy, organisation, integration, coordination and measurement of key dimensions of service delivery, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation.

Description of duties

The incumbent works under the direct supervision of the SDS adviser responsible for palliative care, in close collaboration with the WHO departments and external key partners involved in this area of work; interacting with WHO regional offices, collaborating centres and expert groups, as well as other international organisations and national bodies.

The incumbent works with the Secretariat of the WHO ad hoc technical advisory group of experts on palliative care, the WHO internal working group on palliative care and WHO regional focal points for palliative care.

The incumbent provides technical expertise for the implementation of the WHA resolution on palliative care as a component of comprehensive care throughout the life course (WHA 67.19) across disease groups (non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases).

In the SDS Department, the incumbent is the technical lead for:

  • the development of guidelines, manuals, policy documents and implementation tools for the establishment and improvement of integrated people centred palliative care programs;
  • the development of indicators and monitoring process to improve access to quality palliative care;
  • the country technical support for national policies on palliation across disease groups.

Main achievements will include:

  • key aspects of integrated people centred and respectful palliative care addressed in palliative care policies;
  • strengthening of palliative care services in the continuum of care, in countries; with an emphasis on universal coverage schemes;
  • strengthening of global partnerships for sustainable palliative care programmes.

Required qualifications


An advanced university degree in medicine or related field and a formal post graduate qualification in palliative care is essential. A degree in public health is desirable.

In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position.

WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The list can be accessed here.

Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.


Essential knowledge and skills include:

  • expertise and clinical experience in palliative care
  • substantial knowledge in public health
  • extensive international experience in resource limited settings; and
  • sense of responsibility, good interpersonal and presentation skills.


  • producing results
  • building and promoting partnerships across the organisation and beyond
  • communicating in a credible and effective way
  • technical expertise
  • overall attitude at work; and
  • creating an empowering and motivating environment.


At least ten years’ experience in palliative care is essential. Experience of working with international organisations is desirable.


An expert knowledge of English is essential. An intermediate knowledge of French is desirable.

Additional Information

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WHO:

Annual net salary

US$ 81704 at single rate

US$ 87948 with primary dependants.

Post Adjustment

86 % of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

View this job listing on the WHO website for further details. 

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