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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1411-1412
World Health Organization appeals for investment in the strengthening of the global health workforce to accomplish financial growth


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication11-Jan-2018
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization appeals for investment in the strengthening of the global health workforce to accomplish financial growth. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1411-2

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization appeals for investment in the strengthening of the global health workforce to accomplish financial growth. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 May 22];10:1411-2. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/6/1411/222692


The recent outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola, Zika, or Middle East Respiratory Syncytial virus, all of which have a potential to spread internationally, and the rising burden of noncommunicable diseases across the world has repeatedly emphasized on the need of having a strengthened healthcare delivery system.[1] The quality of healthcare delivery is not only dependent on the availability of the logistics but also in terms of its accessibility and the availability of a trained health workforce in adequate numbers.[2] The current global estimates suggest that in developing nations alone, there is dearth of more than 18 million health workers, which is a huge deficiency.[1]

In order to achieve global security and to assist nations to accomplish Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage, the need of the hour is to invest in human resources otherwise devastating effects are expected to happen in the coming years, which can seriously question a nation's growth and will even have global effects.[3],[4] In fact, a wide range of challenges has been observed in areas of health staff recruitment, their training and retention, ensuring a presence of a mixture of skills, and disparity in the distribution of the health workers.[3],[5]

Further, it has been projected that due to the increase in the average life expectancy and the rising trend of lifestyle diseases across the world, there will be a demand for additional 40 million health workers by 2030.[1] However, it is not a bad thing to start investing immediately, as the anticipated returns are 9:1, which in itself is extremely encouraging.[1] Moreover, the observed growth in the developing nations has been indirectly attributed to the improved health standards, and the policy makers have to invest in skills and expansion of the health employment to eventually ensure the financial stability of the vulnerable population groups.[1],[2],[3],[4]

In the mission to respond to this public health challenge on an urgent note, the World Health Organization in collaboration with different international agencies has released timely and practical recommendations to ensure appropriate investments in the health workforce.[1] These include facilitating participation of women by reducing the existing social issues of inequity and gender bias, training all health professionals to optimally meet the needs of the population, utilizing different modes of media to strengthen health education activities for the welfare of the general population, strengthening International Health Regulations and skills of health workers deployed in humanitarian emergency settings, and improving the skill standards of health workers to achieve better recognition.[1],[2],[3],[5]

In addition, interventions like creating jobs in health sector, especially for women and youth according to the desired skills, numbers, and location; giving more emphasis on prevention and implementation of community-based, holistic, affordable, and quality assured care to the people in underserved areas; raising funding from all possible resources for health financing and investing the same in the capacity building of health workers; facilitating multisectoral collaboration at different levels of health care; and promoting research activities in the health labor arena to generate adequate evidence, has also been advocated to minimize the health worker shortage.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, the health sector is facing a daunting task of the shortage of health workforce, and it can be handled effectively only if, the policy makers realize its importance and start investing in the same, as it will also play a remarkable role in the financial growth of nations and better living standards for the general population.

Acknowledgments

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. UN Commission: New investments in global health workforce will create jobs and drive economic growth. 2016; Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/global-health-workforce/en/ [Last accessed on 2016 Sep 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization advocates for expansion in the role of health workforce to prevent unsafe abortions. Int J Prev Med 2016;7:16.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Gesesew HA, Tebeje B, Alemseged F, Beyene W. Health workforce acquisition, retention and turnover in Southwest Ethiopian health institutions. Ethiop J Health Sci 2016;26:331-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening the health workforce to move forward towards universal health coverage and accomplish the 2030 goals. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:305-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Pálsdóttir B, Barry J, Bruno A, Barr H, Clithero A, Cobb N, et al. Training for impact: the socio-economic impact of a fit for purpose health workforce on communities. Hum Resour Health 2016;14:49.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.222692

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