Global momentum for human resources for health at the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly
27 May 2016 - In a historic move today, Member States of the 69th World Health Assembly, demonstrated a strong and clear commitment to the health workforce agenda, by unanimously adopting a landmark strategy and resolution to address human resources for health (HRH) challenges and achieve Universal Health Coverage. With this step, the world's nations acknowledge the global dimension and complexities of the health workforce shortage and the interconnected nature of both the problems and the solutions necessary for the achievement of universal health coverage.
The resolution calls on countries to take steps to strengthen their health workforces, including actively forecasting gaps between need for and supply of health workers, collecting and reporting better data, and ensuring adequate funding for the health workforce. Population growth, ageing societies, and changing disease patterns are expected to drive greater demand for well-trained health workers in the next 15 years. The global economy is projected to create around 40 million new health sector jobs by 2030, mostly in middle- and high-income countries. But despite that anticipated growth, there will be a projected shortage of 18 million health workers needed to achieve the SDGs in low- and lower-middle-income countries, fuelled in part by labour mobility, both within and between nations.
Following the adoption of the Strategy and its accompanying resolution, Member States are now urged to reflect its objectives within national health, education and employment policies. Moreover, they are encouraged to implement the relevant recommendations outlined in the Global Strategy, supported by high level political commitments and adequate financing.