WHO Call to Action - Addressing the 18 million health worker shortfall (2) Health-worker-centred health systems

20 April, 2019

Read online and complete the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/calltoaction18million

The survey is easy and quick to complete. Here is what I suggested:


Description: Paradigm shift in health systems policy towards health-worker-centred health care

Objective: People worldwide are receiving low-quality health care largely because the basic needs of frontline healthcare providers are not being met. HIFA describes these needs as SEISMIC. http://www.hifa.org/about-hifa/hifa-universal-health-coverage-and-human-...

Outcomes: The basic needs of healthcare providers are explicitly described, and progress towards meeting those needs is measured as a key component of health systems policy

Stakeholders: HIFA, WHO, professional associations, patients...


To talk of health systems as people-centred is meaningless if health workers are not empowered to deliver the care for which they are trained. Health systems need to be both people- and health-worker-centred.

When health workers feel that their needs (particularly with respect to their ability to provide high-quality care) are being listened to, measured and progressively addressed, only then can quality universal health coverage be achieved. New people will be attracted to the health professions and fewer will be disillusioned and leave.

To paraphrase Lincoln Chen and the Joint Learning Initiative (2004), "The only route to reaching the Health SDGs is through the health worker: there are no shortcuts".

In the survey we are allowed to propose two actions. I can think of several, but my second proposed action would be to similarly empower the public with on-demand healthcare information on mobile phones, in the right language and format, drawing from the experience of existing resources such as Where There is No Doctor and Red Cross First Aid app.

What would be *your* 'bold collaborative actions to implement ambitious solutions to address the health workforce shortfall by 2023'?

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org