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

Featured Stings

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

UN chief condemns suspected Boko Haram attacks targeting Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Nigeria

Let your fingers do the walking

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

EU presses India for a free trade agreement

To my Chinese friend

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

MEPs Anti-fraud votes for more votes?

Iran nuclear talks’ deadline extended: the match is still open for many

Fisherwomen of Lake Chad show optimism in face of multiple challenges

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

How the EU sees its own and Russia’s role in Ukraine

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

Changing the EU copyright law won’t bring us much closer to Digital Single Market

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

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

Eurozone: A Sluggish economy offers no extra jobs

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

The developing countries keep the world going

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Commission presents far-reaching anti-tax evasion measures

Trump goes ahead with plan to undo globalization; targets China and EU

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

EU/Africa, Caribbean and Pacific: towards which partnership?

“None of our member states has the dimension to compete with China and the US, not even Germany!”, Head of EUREKA Pedro Nunes on another Sting Exclusive

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

UN chief welcomes resolution to 27-year-old disagreement over renaming the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Will GDPR block Blockchain?

Hostilities in Syria’s southwest, mean cuts in vital aid across Jordanian border: Senior UN official

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

‘Free state aid’ for imprudent banks

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

Greece did it again

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

EU summit: Are the London Tories planning an exit from the EU?

Have central banks missed the exit train?

Syria: Civilians caught in crossfire, UN refugee chief urges Jordan to open its border

Is Eurozone heading for disinflation?

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

Nicaragua: MEPs condemn brutal repression and demand elections

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

Eurozone stuck in a high risk deflation area; Draghi expects further price plunge

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

ECB reaches the boundaries of its mandate to revive the entirety of Eurozone

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

European financial values on the rise

The European Sting @ European Business Summit 2014 – the preview

How young entrepreneurs should be supported: what assistance should governments provide?

‘Agile’, multilateral response vital to combat terrorism – UN chief Guterres

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Migration crisis will keep deteriorating as common EU political will is simply not there

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

Eurozone to enter the winter…

EU Court of Justice invalidates Safe Harbour and the game for thousands US businesses suddenly changes

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

w

Connecting to %s