Future healthcare professionals: the roadmap to global progress and sustainability

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Yashas BP, a 20 years old, a 2nd Year medical student at Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences from Karnataka, India. He 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.

Be the change you wish to see in the world”

— Mahatma Gandhi

There has been a considerable change over the past few years. Society is changing, but there is also a change in the environment we live in; global temperatures are rising, antibiotics are fizzling, inequalities in income levels are increasing, and healthcare costs

are rapidly escalating.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Goals containing seventeen goals covering a range of sustainability issues for the world, such as ending poverty, hunger, provision of healthcare and education, battling climate change, etc. Health has a central place in the third goal of the 2030 Agenda: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.

The facilitation of healthcare services alone cannot help reach health-related sustainable goals. Some health issues in the environment need a joint effort between the local, national and international federations; Other issues vitalize public awareness (Health literacy) of preventable diseases and illnesses. The provision of primary healthcare, hence accomplishing the Sustainable Development goals, is hindered by various problems. The small portion allocated to the primary healthcare sector has exacerbated the underfunding of healthcare facilities. It threatens the development of infrastructure, including the capacity for disease prevention and health promotion. There is a shortage and uneven distribution of healthcare workforce and long-standing absenteeism in low- and middle-income countries leading to poverty. According to the WHO Regional Office for Europe, there is limited evidence regarding health literacy.

To overcome these issues to achieve the 2030 Agenda, the government and healthcare professionals must work together. The government must carry out programs that focus on the constructive retention of the health workforce in rural areas regarding direct healthcare services.

There should be an update in the curriculum for future healthcare professionals regarding pre-service training; skills in delivering clinical services. Local and national-level multi-sectoral actions should together address health factors by applying best-buy interventions. The national-level intervention of controlling taxes and controlled tobacco marketing can be synergized with the local-level law enforcement of smoke-free public places.

To achieve the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, healthcare workers must engage with communities and other sectors to take action on the social considerations as an integral part of their daily routine. They must utilize their roles within and outside the healthcare system to promote health equity. They should work as advocates at all levels to address the inequities at the national and global level by accommodating health in all policies approach.

The workforce should be trained in providing integrated and community-based healthcare by focusing on disease surveillance and prevention. A clear roadmap to align technology and the workers is critical. Nurses and General Physicians can be trained with the basic skill set that enables them to perform select live-saving procedures, recognize acute conditions in time, and make referrals to relevant specialists. There is a gender disparity in the health employment and medical education system. Pro-active steps must be taken to create a balanced healthcare workforce. Developing new care models, gender-balanced workforce, Rebalancing healthcare tasks, and Harnessing technology are ways that healthcare professionals will contribute to the Agenda 2030.

About the author

Yashas BP is a 20 years old, 2nd Year medical student at Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences from Karnataka, India. He is an active member of the Medical Student’s Association of India (MSAI). He enjoys learning about different topics and whose resolve is to help improve his country’s medical education. He is Infatuated with Oncology, forensic medicine, microbiology, and doctor-patient relationships. He shares interests in Public Health, believing in promoting more accessible and better public health systems for all populations.

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