Crisis in human resources for health: innovative health financing under the SDG3 framework
Health workers are a vital component of health systems in every region and every country around the world. The health workforce has not only a pivotal role in provision of basic health care services, but is also vital to build communities’ resilience to emergencies and disasters of natural or man-made origin. Having a sustainable health workforce is a crucial step towards improved and universal health coverage to ensure that the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is respected, protected and fulfilled.
Health of communities is the basic premise for the continuous development of society. The global goal towards the universal availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of health services is also reflected in the 2030 Sustainable development agenda, under the Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, particularly under the target 3.C: “Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States”.
Progressive yet demanding health priorities of the 2030 Sustainable development agenda will remain merely ambitions if not accompanied by an integrated strategy concerning those who should be the driving force of this change - health workers. The complex and interlinked nature of the global health workforce requires a multisectoral approach in its development, involving health care professionals, public health experts, health care students and other relevant actors such as ministries of finance and donors.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), the UN international public health agency reaffirmed in 2016 its commitment to address global health workforce by developing the Global strategy for human resources for health: Workforce 2030. The aim of this strategy is “to improve health, social and economic development outcomes by ensuring universal availability, accessibility, acceptability, coverage and quality of the health workforce through adequate investments to strengthen health systems, and the implementation of effective policies at national, regional and global levels”.
Sustainable Health Workforce was selected to be one of IFMSA Global External Focus Areas for the 2016/2017 term. IFMSA set its goal to continue capacity building and regional participation in Human Resources for Health (HRH) external representation, and to monitor regional effects of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030.
IFMSA also aims to remain an active advocate and stakeholder in HRH and Sustainable Health Workforce policy platforms, and to encourage investment and policy-making in the development of a sustainable health workforce. In line with that, IFMSA is involved in the organization of a Youth Forum at the 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health to be held in Dublin, Ireland in November 2017. The theme event of the IFMSA General Assembly August Meeting under the name ,,Crisis in human resources for health: innovative health financing under the SDG3 framework,, sets the foundation for a constructive debate leading up to the Youth Forum and provides an opportunity for medical students to share and discuss their opinions about questions such as:
How can investments in health care drive national and regional economic growth?
How to ensure that health sector will address the needs of communities?
What is the role of social accountability and inter-professional cooperation in building the sustainable health workforce?
How can women empowerment in health employment influence the future of health workforce?