The final countdown towards achieving the 2030 Agenda: the contribution of future health(care) professionals

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Asma Tahir, currently a 2nd year medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore, Pakistan. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Is our healthcare system resourceful enough for the next pandemic? Do we have enough research and resources on our hands? Are doctors trained enough for the next pandemic? Could our healthcare system get advanced and robust? 

These are all real questions that would lead you to ponder upon the missing gaps that are essential for us to achieve the Agenda 2030: an unprecedented agenda that visions a world free of poverty, hunger and most importantly, disease. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has been an eye opening experience for healthcare systems to analyse the drawbacks that need to be fixed in order to take a step forward towards the UN Agenda, which is greatly contributed by medicine.

First, countless countries do not have access to free health care as of now and countries like New zealand that do offer free health care have had an edge during the Pandemic. Therefore, If not entirely free, it can be subsidised by the government. Next, since epidemiology is an important part of MBBS course, the significance of urgent need of a vaccine through research, quick trials and distribution should be taught early as it would boost the efficiency for future breakouts.

Moreover, specific specialities like surgery are mostly male dominated, thus female med students or even female doctors are reluctant to pursue surgery as they aren not given equal opportunity and confidence. Therefore, increased awareness of gender equality within healthcare systems would encourage doctors to thrive regardless of their gender, giving the world finest doctors.

Furthermore, there is an absolute need for copious amounts of doctors. Majority of youth are interested in pursuing medicine but the thought of work exhaustion holds them back. The number of work hours could be reduced by narrowing the information that needs to be entered by the doctors into the Hospital Information System (HIS). This can be done by providing recorders to doctors and for medical secretaries to enter that recorded information into the HIS, as done in the UK to prevent exhausting current medical infrastructure including staff.

Introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI)  would be an essential assistant to doctors as it could perform the finest and intricate procedures. Also, using AI could be used  for early detection of virus spread and fast DNA sequencing to manufacture vaccines in time along with cross variant protection. Lastly, it is important to provide equal treatment and facilities to all patients regardless of their income, gender, religion, race or culture; fulfilling important aspects of universal respect for human rights and human dignity.

Youth plays an important part in Agenda 2030 as we are the future, thus we must encourage kids to pursue STEM fields such as Medicine, genetics, to overcome shortage of medical personnel in times of global pandemic and would enhance their analytical thinking. These new goals would have a massive contribution to the Agenda 2030; equality, peace and prosperity on earth. Agenda where all life can thrive!

About the author

Asma Tahir is currently a 2nd year medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore, Pakistan. She is an active member of IFMSA and VFAHT, who believes that with the power of knowledge, peace, equity and unity, the human race could achieve anything possible. Sky’s the limit. She has also been part of various general public awareness campaigns and fundraisers.

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