Presidents Hollande and Zuma chair the first meeting of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth
23 March 2016 - The High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth held its first meeting in Lyon today, presided over by H.E. Mr. Francois Hollande, President of France, and H.E. Mr Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. The meeting brought together a multisectoral group of Commissioners, who have been appointed to make recommendations towards the creation of health and social sector jobs as a means to advance inclusive economic growth.
Creating more jobs for health workers holds the potential to bolster health and health security, spur inclusive economic growth, and empower women and youth, said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.
Growing populations, changing disease patterns and economic trends are projected to lead to the creation of about 40 million new health sector jobs by 2030, mostly in middle and high-income countries. Conversely, there will be a projected shortage of 18 million health workers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, mostly in low- and lower-middle income countries.
This mismatch poses a threat not only to human health, but to health security and the global economy, as West Africa’s Ebola outbreak demonstrated.
“The Commission calls for a change in the way policy-makers look at the health sector, not as a drain on resources but as a source of opportunities,” said Dr Chan. “Employment in the health sector can operate as a counterforce to the world’s growing inequalities in income levels and opportunities.”
The Commission will deliver its final report in the margin of the seventy-first regular session of the United Nations General Assembly in September.
The Commission is co-chaired by Mr François Hollande, President of France, and Mr Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa. They will be assisted by three vice-chairs: Dr Chan; Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization; and Mr Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The Commission has been appointed in response to a United Nations General Assembly resolution (A/70/L.32) recognizing that investing in new health workforce employment opportunities may add broader socio-economic value to the economy and contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The recommendations of the Commission will be delivered to the Secretary-General in September 2016.
A meeting report will be made available shortly.