The British Association of Medical Managers (BAMM) has backed the government's rejection of a recommendation that the NHS cut 10% of its workforce within the next five years.
The McKinsey and Company report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health, recommended the axing of 137,000 clinical and administrative posts in a bid to save £20bn by 2014.
But says BAMM spokeswoman Jenny Simpson: "Whatever the state of the economy, people in the UK will need healthcare services and they will need them to be of the highest quality and standards.
"The answer to challenging finances in the NHS lies in more intelligent use of the talent, skills and commitment of clinicians and managers."
This would streamline services, she said, and prevent ill health "by creating a healthier workforce, a healthier population and earlier intervention – all of which will benefit patients, the general public and the health service itself".
Health Minister Mike O'Brien had said: "The government does not believe the right answer to improving the NHS now or in the future is to cut the NHS workforce. In core frontline services like maternity, nursing and primary care, we need more staff rather than fewer."