In the past two years we have become acutely aware that a health system is only as strong as the people – the health workforce – within it.
Protecting, safeguarding and investing in health and care workers was a consistent theme throughout the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, with over one hundred countries co-sponsoring the resolution on human resources for health to adopt the Working for Health 2022-2030 Action Plan and the related Global health and care worker compact.
Fifty six Member States, international organizations, non-governmental organization coalitions and WHO regional office delegations took the floor to support the resolution and highlight key health workforce issues, building on d the four reports from the Director General relating to the: 1) Working for Health 2022-2030 Action Plan; 2) Global health and care worker compact; 3) Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030 implementation progress; and 4) WHO Code on International Migration of Health Workers implementation progress.
Interventions focused on what health and care workers need: gender equity, competency based education, decent work and fair pay for all workers, protection and occupational safety, physical and mental health support. Representatives also spoke about policies and health system investments to attract, optimize and retain workers; infrastructure and resources in hard to reach areas; safeguarding and supporting countries with specific workforce vulnerabilities linked to international mobility; multisectoral coordination and dialogue; and data for decision-making.
What is needed to achieve these ambitions? Political commitment, stakeholder alignment, financial resources, and country-led strategies, plans and implementation. The World Health Assembly agreed, through adoption of the resolution on human resources for health (A75/A/CONF./3), that the Working for Health 2022-2030 Action Plan and its Multi Partner Trust Fund are the proven vehicle to drive these ambitions.