World leaders at Rio+20 call for strengthening recruitment and training of health workers
Geneva, 22 June 2012 –The recently concluded United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+ 20) offered the world an important opportunity to both acknowledge, the inextricable links between human health and sustainable development.
World leaders concluded the summit today by endorsing the Rio+20 Declaration “The Future We Want”. The Declaration “calls for further collaboration and cooperation at national and international levels to strengthen health systems through increased health financing, recruitment, development, training and retention of the health work force, improved distribution and access to safe, affordable, effective and quality medicines, vaccines and medical technologies, and through improving health infrastructure. We support the leadership role of the World Health Organization as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work."
"We are pleased that world leaders in Rio have given prominent recognition to the health workforce, but intensified momentum is still needed to sustain current efforts", said Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Access to skilled, motivated and supported health workers is vital. Skills mix and working conditions of health workers must also be a priority to cope with the increasing health challenges posed by ageing populations, non-communicable diseases, scarce resources, growing urban slums and mobile populations”, added Dr Sheikh.
A healthy environment is a prerequisite for good health. Recent times have seen a surge in environmentally-friendly activities such as recycling and improved waste disposal systems which have a positive effect on the global environment. However, without appropriate action this trend can come at the cost of workers’ lives and health. With a tendency towards a greener economy and its related impact on the health and safety of workers, the need for increased numbers of skilled, motivated and facilitated health workers is greater than ever.
The Future We Want commits the world to creating a new set of ‘sustainable development goals’(SGDs). The SDGs, as they will be known, will work like the existing Millennium Development Goals to drive action on sustainable food, water and energy for all in the Post MDG (2015) agenda. The Alliance urges continued recognition of health systems and HRH in this discourse.