Thursday, November 3, 2011

[EQ] Health Worker Shortages and Global Justice

Health Worker Shortages and Global Justice

Paula O’Brien and Lawrence O. Gostin
Milbank Memorial Fund, 2011

Available online PDF [119p.] at:

“………….The world is experiencing a critical and growing shortage of health workers needed to deliver essential health services, particularly in the poorest countries around the globe. This report details the scope of the shortage, examines its complex underlying causes within and across borders, and offers seven recommendations to the United States for using its leadership status to address the problem, while stressing the need for all countries and stakeholders to take action. These recommendations take into account and carefully balance the rights, interests, and obligations of individuals, communities, and governments alike.

The global human resource shortage is certainly much greater than 4.3 million health workers. And the shortage includes more than physicians and nurses—extending to health workers across the spectrum, including pharmacists, dentists, laboratory technicians, emergency medical personnel, public health specialists, health sector management, and administrative staff.

The human resource crisis affects developed and developing countries, but the global poor suffer disproportionately, not only because they have a much smaller workforce but also because their needs are so much greater. Of the 57 countries with critical shortages, 36 are in Africa. Africa has 25% of the world’s disease burden, but only 3% of the world’s health workers and 1% of the economic resources. In particular, there is an extreme imbalance in the distribution of the estimated 12 million working nurses worldwide: the nurse-to-population ratio is 10 times higher in Europe than in Africa or Southeast Asia, and 10 times higher in North America than in South America.

These sterile numbers mask the real human tragedy of health personnel shortages. Where there are vastly inadequate numbers of health workers trained and employed, people cannot enjoy the good health that will enable them to flourish. They have fewer opportunities to prevent and treat injuries and diseases or to relieve pain and suffering when they are sick or dying. According to the WHO, in many poor countries, the lack of health workers is a major factor in the deaths of large numbers of individuals who would survive if they had access to health care…..”


Foreword .

Chapter 1: The Global Health Worker Crisis—Executive Summary

Chapter 2: The Global Shortage of Health Workers

Chapter 3: The Global Health Worker Shortage—Causes .

Chapter 4: Toward a US Policy on the Global Health Workforce Shortage—Rights, Interests, and Obligations

Chapter 5: US Policy on the Global Human Resource

Shortage—Recommendations for Action





 *      *     *
This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is part of an effort to disseminate
information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality in health; Socioeconomic
health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics; Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;
Information Technology - Virtual libraries; Research & Science issues.  [DD/ KMC Area]
Washington DC USA

“Materials provided in this electronic list are provided "as is". Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings
and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors and not necessarily of The Pan American
Health Organization PAHO/WHO or its country members”.
PAHO/WHO Website
Equity List - Archives - Join/remove:

IMPORTANT: This transmission is for use by the intended
recipient and it may contain privileged, proprietary or
confidential information. If you are not the intended
recipient or a person responsible for delivering this
transmission to the intended recipient, you may not
disclose, copy or distribute this transmission or take
any action in reliance on it. If you received this transmission
in error, please dispose of and delete this transmission.

Thank you.

No comments: