Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Health Workforce

Based on a threshold of 4.45 skilled health professionals per 1000 population, it has been estimated that the needs-based shortage of health-care workers globally would be about 17.4 million of which almost 2.6 million are doctors and over 9 million are nurses and midwives. The largest needs-based shortage are in South East Asian and African regions. If current trends continue, the global needs-based shortage of health-care workers is projected to be still over 14 million in 2030.

fact buffet

Global health workforce

43 millionThere were an estimated 43 million global health workers in 2015, including 9.8 million physicians and 20.7 million nurses/midwives

Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030

Migration of health workers

70%of Member States reported that migrant health personnel enjoy the same legal rights and responsibilities as domestically trained health personnel

WHO Global Code of Practice on the international recruitment of health personnel
pdf, 616kb

Geographical distribution

58%of the countries that reported to ‘the Code’ stated that measures were being adopted to address geographical mal-distribution and improve retention in underserved areas

WHO Global Code of Practice on the international recruitment of health personnel
pdf, 616kb