Health workforce’s shortfall: a trend to be changed

The number of people aged 65+ is expected to almost double over the next fifty years, and the increasing number of older people with multiple chronic conditions will require not only new care models, but also new ways of working for health professionals (De Ponte, 2014).

The WHO estimates a shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030 (WHO, 2020), and this condition could be exacerbated if no action is taken. The retirement of a large cohort of health professionals is drastically shrinking the EU health workforce, and the number of young professionals currently going through training are not enough to replace those who are leaving the profession. It seems that the health labour market is not sufficiently attractive to students choosing their professions, and evidence shows that an increasing turnover in the health professions is compounding the issue. Low rates of pay and unsatisfactory working conditions may not be helpful either (De Ponte, 2014).

Health managers facing the issue of workforce development have a vital role in building resilient and robust health systems that can take on the challenges of the future. Finding solutions to the workforce dilemma appears critical to figure out possible solutions for our health systems in the long term.

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References:

De Ponte, G. (2014) The Present Situation in the Region. [online] Available at: https://www.wemos.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/HW4All_synthesis_report_2014_03.pdf (Accessed : 07 August 2020)

WHO (2020), Health Workforce. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/teams/health-workforce/about (Accessed: 7 August 2020)

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