The Lancet: The availability of human resources for health

9 June, 2022

Dear all,

I was a co-author on the paper recently published in The Lancet that has found how in 2019, based on minimum threshold estimates for reaching a universal health coverage (i.e., 80 out of 100 on the effective coverage index), there was a daunting shortage of approximately 6.4 million physicians, 30.6 million nurses and midwives, 3.3 million dentistry personnel, and 2.9 million pharmaceutical personnel.

The paper concluded: “As the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health suggests, successful policy solutions will vary across contexts to address the local drivers of insufficient workforce supply and demand.”

What are your views on this paper and this important issue, especially considering that the largest shortages have been found in low-income settings? Find the paper details below, it is open access:

Haakenstad A et al. Measuring the availability of human resources for health and its relationship to universal health coverage for 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. The Lancet 2022; 4: 2129-2154. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00532-3.

Paper link:

Thank you,

Tomislav Mestrović

HIFA Global Country Representative (CR) Coordinator

HIFA profile: Tomislav Mestrovic is a medical doctor and a clinical microbiologist with a PhD in biomedical sciences, and an Assistant Professor at Croatia's youngest public university, University North. He is also passionately invested in global health communication, health literacy, science journalism and science diplomacy. Tomislav was appointed by the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia as a Managing Committee Member to COST Action on evidence-based medicine run by the European Union. He holds several positions in international societies that resulted in many volunteering initiatives. Tomislav is the current holder of the HIFA Country Representative of the Year award (2020) and is also the European coordinator for HIFA Country Representatives. He is also a member of the HIFA-WHO working group on Learning for quality health services.

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