Far from a healthy Health Workforce: lack of workforce planning leaves our citizens without access to proper care

Stijntje Dijk

Stijntje Dijk is Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues at IFMSA.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Stijntje Dijk, Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues at the International Federation of Medical  Students’ Associations (IFMSA).

We write to you today as the representatives of medical students worldwide to express our deep concern for the access to healthcare as well as the wellbeing of our future patients, together with our hopefulness for a solution. The International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA), representing 1.3 million medical students worldwide, believes that a global strategy is needed to coordinate the development of human resources for health worldwide, and more than that, we need to ensure its implementation.

Ensuring healthy lives of our population is one of our region’s highest concerns. Yet, without enough healthcare workers with the right set of skills, this cannot be accomplished. Europe is currently facing many challenges, the importance of which is reflected by the creation of a Joint Action of the European Commission dedicated to solely this issue. Estimates from WHO and the World Bank identify one of the major challenges to attaining universal health coverage is the projected global deficit of nearly 18 million health workers by 2030, a shortfall of around 1 million healthcare workers (13.8%) in the EU by 2020.

However, although numbers of health workers seem to be the major focus to many governments, our major concerns lie in lacking quality of education and workforce planning. Rapid and uncontrolled scale ups of the numbers of health professionals in training is increasing each day within our region, and many faculty don’t live up to the World Federation for Medical Education global standards in medical education. Without proper education quality oversight, this will lead to unqualified health professionals, and, therefore, poor health care services. Furthermore, without proper health workforce planning mechanisms, there might even be enough health workers with the right skills, but not spread according to the populations or health system’s needs as specialization or geographical distribution within or between countries, where they are needed the most.

It takes much time to fully educate a healthcare worker, in many European countries it takes between 5-7 years to become a basic medical doctor, followed by an additional time of specialization (from 3 to 6 years). Therefore, the time to act is now, and not when the situation is even more critical and unsustainable.

In order to achieve the health workforce we need and that our communities deserve, we need international/regional strategies and national implementation, that aim to ensure quality of education and workforce planning, and regulation of retention and recruitment.

We need the involvement of all stakeholders including government, civil society organizations, health worker organizations, students, educational institutions and patient organizations to work together to identify and tackle the challenges ahead.

We as the future health workforce commit to our responsibilities to positively impact the communities that we serve and will serve in the future, and ask all those with a political voice to do the same. We are calling for the adoption of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030, and we are calling for our government’s commitment to implement national strategies to ensure the health of our health workforce.

About the author

Stijntje Dijk

Stijntje Dijk is Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues at IFMSA.

Stijntje Dijk serves for the second term as IFMSA Liaison Officer for Medical Education issues. The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations unites medical students worldwide to lead initiatives that impact positively the communities we serve. IFMSA represents the opinions and ideas of future medical professionals in the field of global health, and connects and engages with 1.3 million medical students from 116 countries across the globe.  Stijntje is a medical student from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

A voice from Syria: the positive prospect of clinical research despite the excruciating circumstances

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

EU readies for eventual annulment of the Turkish agreement on immigrants-refugees

Can We(esterners) ever understand (the) Chinese

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

Spirit unlimited

Switzerland to introduce strict restrictions on executive pay

The 13th round of TTIP negotiations hits a wall of intense protests and growing concerns

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Is it true that the G20 wants to arrest tax evasion of multinationals?

Conflicting statistics and bad banks haunt the Eurozone

The EU risks trade relations with China over the Tata hype about steel

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

Jo Cox’s murderer believed the ‘leave’ campaign leaders that the ‘remain’ vote is treason

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

Vĕra Jourová, European Commissioner in charge of Justice

The New EU-US “Shield” for data privacy is full of holes

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile Connect availability hits 2B

Long live Eurozone’s bank supervisor down with the EU budget supremo

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

A new European banking space is born this year

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Russia and the EU ‘trade’ natural gas supplies and commercial concessions in and out of Ukraine

The EU responds to US challenges by fining Apple with €13 billion

The EU Commission openly repudiates the austere economic policies

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

EU: 13 major banks may pay fines 10% of worldwide turnover

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

The Chinese spirit

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

The European Internet is not neutral and neither is the Commissioner

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

A Sting Exclusive: “Sustainable development goals: what role for business?” Commissioner Mimica asks live from European Business Summit 2015

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

The time is up but the game is still not over for Greece: negotiations continue in anticipation of a new deal

Solitary Britain sides with US aggressing Russia and chooses hard Brexit

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

On Brexit: the outcome of UK elections next May to be based on false promises?

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Businesses succeed internationally

EU out to conquer African Union summit

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

The European Youth raises their voices this week in Brussels at Yo!Fest 2015

JADE Handover Ceremony at the European Parliement

EU Parliament: Follow the fraudulent money and confiscate it

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s