World Health Report 2006 (The)
Working Together for Health
Nonserial Publication
World Health Organization
ISBN-13    9789241563178 ISBN-10    9241563176
Order Number    12402006 Format    Paper Back
Price    CHF    40.00 / US$    48.00 Developing countries:    CHF    20.00
English     2006        235   pages
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Summary
The 2006 World Health Report contains both an expert assessment of the current crisis in the global health workforce and an ambitious set of proposals to tackle it over the next ten years, starting immediately.

Today's crisis is a binding constraint to health improvement in almost 60 countries globally. A shortage estimated at almost 4.3 million doctors, midwives, nurses and support workers worldwide is most severe in the poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are most needed. Poor working conditions, high rates of attrition due to illness and migration and education systems that are unable to pick up the slack reflect the depth of the challenges in these crisis countries.

About 59 million people make up the global health workforce. One in every three of these is employed in the Americas - mostly in the USA and Canada - where more than half the world's financial resources for health are to be found. However, only four in every hundred health workers are in sub-Saharan Africa, which has a quarter of the global burden of disease, and less than one per cent of the world's financial resources.

This report shows how a better balance can be found. By actively planning around the working lifespan of a worker from entry to health training, to job recruitment through to retirement, a broad set of policies options emerge that can all make a discrete contribution to improving the performance of the health workforce. All countries can enhance workforce productivity immediately but they must also begin to anticipate what lies ahead and acquire the necessary institutional capacity to lead, manage and regulate the health workforce.

National leadership can be supported by global solidarity that facilitate public goods like common technical frameworks and priority research as well as cooperative agreements on migration and the mobilization of the international workforce in response to health emergencies. Support to countries in profound crisis requires urgent coordination and commitment from international partners to invest directly in the health workforce now and into the longer-term. This report lays out a ten-year action plan in which countries can build their health workforces and strengthen their health system with the support of global partners - working together for health.

A strong and vital health workforce is an investment in health for today and the future. The ultimate goal is a workforce that can guarantee universal access to health care to all citizens in every country. This report is essential reading for everyone who shares that ambition.