As the World Health Assembly discusses the draft Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 THET makes a statement (Committee B agenda item 16.1) to the assembled Member States urging them to support the use of Institutional Health Partnerships as a tool to make a vital contribution to the rapid scaling-up of health workers and the achievement of Universal Health Coverage.

 

Member States will be aware that one-in-seven people will never see a qualified health worker. WHO estimate that there is a need to recruit and train an additional thirteen million health workers in the decades to come. Without such a workforce, no country will be able to meet their citizens’ right to health and achieve Universal Health Coverage.

The Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)  support the renewed focus on Universal Health Coverage in the Sustainable Development Goals and believe that a rapid scaling-up in the recruitment, training and education of health workers in support of these goals is necessary.

 

THET therefore welcomes the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, Workforce 2030.

 

Institutional Health Partnerships, or “Twinning Partnerships”, based on the idea of co-development between actors and institutions from the Global North and low- and middle-income countries, are a proven model for improving health and health services through mutually beneficial and reciprocal learning. The example of WHO’s African Partnerships for Patient Safety bears witness to the effectiveness of this approach.

We support and applaud the adoption of Resolution A 68/15 on Strengthening Emergency and Essential Surgical Care and Anaesthesia as a Component of Universal Health Coverage. However, we would draw Member States’ attention to the need for effective workforce training as a vital component in achieving the aspirations of the Resolution.

We therefore urge Member States to support the use of Institutional Health Partnerships as a tool to make a vital contribution to the rapid scaling-up of health workers and the achievement of UHC.

Finally, it is of great importance for Member States to maintain and improve the competence of the health workforce through effective, efficient and sustainable continuing professional development (CPD).