Health workers are an integral necessity to equally access global healthcare services. However, many countries in the world are facing considerable shortage of health workers. It has been reported by Global Health workforce alliance that currently the world is short of 7.2 million health workers, and if the issue is ignored for a longer duration, the figure might reach to 12.9 million by the end of 2035. In this regard, the need for addressing health worker crisis is a big challenge for all high, middle and low income countries.
Thus, in order to strengthen the health workforce, it is necessary to deal with some of the critical steps, such as addressing the exact capacity, understanding health labor market dynamics, analyzing as well as managing working conditions, and performance tomotivate health work force.
How It Affects Global Health
The world is facing many pandemic health issues such as Ebola, Zika, and Influenza. Healthcare security of the world is a top most priority, forcing 194 member states of the UN to attend 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. As per declared agreement of International Health Regulation, global health security can be defined aspolicies that have been strategically formulated in order to prevent, protect against, control and spread awareness; in order to stop global spread of the disease.
The immediate obligatory challenge is to rapidly detect and stop the spread of the disease to cross-border the threats, and to ensure that the vulnerable sections of the society can get immediate access to safe and effective healthcare.
As a matter of fact, global health security is directly proportional to many important components like robust disease surveillance system, positive health information, prevention, diagnostic as well as treatment services, and funding due to strong government back up. Amongst all, the most crucial determinant of health security of society is “health workers” or more precisely “skilled health professionals.”
Thus, it is well proved that there cannot be an established health security of global community without involvement of the skilled health workforce to prevent, protect and stop the contagious spread of disease. It has been rightly stated by World Health Organization that “the health services are only as effective, as the people responsible for delivering them!”
Reasons for the crisis
The solution for this staggering shortfall of health care workers is to address the issues that are responsible for it!In that sense, some of the generalized global issues should be worked upon immediately; in order to effectively solve the health workforce crisis.
Terrorism not only destroys many innocent lives, but also infringe onone of our most important human rights – accessto effective health care. It has been globally accepted that terrorism is an important issue, which if left unchecked, can be a major socio-economic burden and can depreciate human development due to overburdened healthcare system after terrorist attack.
The urban and rural disparity and arbitrary distribution of health workers within countries can be a major problem; as the rural people staying outside of urban barriers can always have a difficult time in getting quick health care access. It has been estimated that although 50% of the world’s total population stay in rural areas; whereas 75% of doctors and 62% of nurses are serving developed population.
Due to common phenomenon such as migrating to developed countries for better prospects, developing countries may lose their valuable slot of health workers. In general, it has been proposed that if significant numbers of doctors, nurses and paramedics leave their countries for better prospectus; countries that have financed their education lose return on their investments.
- Gender Inequality
In many communities, pool of qualified health workers has been drastically reduced due to gender bias; which can be a major barrier to educate girls, avoid their unintended pregnancy or in general preventing women from joining health workforce.
Things to do to eliminate threats
In order to avoid these crises, key principals should be frame worked to provide right to health and minimum social protection. In this regard, some crucial strategies can be adapted.
In order to achieve sufficient supply of health care professionals, effective retention of trained health workforce is fundamental. In order to expand accessibility to those, who need them the most; health workers must be supported with upgraded equipment, ultra-modern facilities, and good prospective opportunities.
- Holistic Approach
Some innovative approaches should be incorporated, in order to strengthen health care system such as priority needs and strategies to achieve better health outcomes. For example, substantial investment needs to be supplemented for training and spreading awareness to ensure adequate health worker resources. Implementation of campus interviews and offering good incentives to work in rural areas can provide effective sustainable solution.
- Scale Ups
Government must propose a strong support in order to strengthen the potential of existing health workers by formulating supportive policies, planning, financing, management, reporting and monitoring of the staff in right direction.
Thus, in short it is imperative for many countries to offer a strong political commitment in order to improve availability, acceptability and quality of healthcare services that have been offered to attain systematic linking of health workforce.