While demand for health care increases around the world, the supply of skilled health workers continues to fall short of global need. Inequity in the availability of and access to quality healthcare is deepening, and, without action, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects a shortage of 18 million health workers, largely in lower and middle income countries, by 2030.
This week at the fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health (HRH) in Dublin, Ireland, researchers, policymakers, and HRH experts will discuss innovative strategies to reduce these disparities. Their objective is to advance the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, which was adopted in May 2016 to “accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring equitable access to health workers within strengthened health systems.”
However, availability and accessibility of health workers aren’t the only issues at the heart of the HRH crisis. Health workers at all levels must be appropriately trained, adequately equipped, and supported by policy and health systems in order to delivery consistent, quality care and sustainably close the access gap in healthcare.
Seed Global Health works to address these gaps not only by strengthening in-country health professional education to improve healthcare delivery in five African countries, but also by championing robust support for health workers in global policy efforts.
With greater investment in the health workforce, the potential for socioeconomic impacts are tremendous. Investing in the health workforce can stimulate economic growth through job creation and improvement in population health. Investing in the health workforce also boots national and regional security by helping prevent health threats from crossing national borders. Additionally, investing in the health workforce can allow health systems to become better equipped to deal with disaster.
The fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health is an exciting opportunity to hear how global leaders will bring these changes to life, and to amplify their efforts. Follow along with what’s happening, November 13 to 17, with the hashtag #HRHForum2017 on Twitter.