IFMSA @ 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health

IFMSA was present in the 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, which was held from the 13th to the 17th of November 2017 in Dublin Ireland.

The Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health provides a key opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss and debate innovative approaches towards advancing the implementation of the Global Strategy and the Commission’s recommendations, and show a collective commitment to developing and making available the workforce required to deliver the SDGs.

IFMSA co-organized the Youth Forum which was held on the 14th of November. IFMSA was represented by the following members in the organizing committee: Batool Alwahdani (the Vice President for External Affairs), Amine Lotfi (The Liaison Officer to the World Health Organization), Katerina Dima (The Liaison Officer to Medical Education Issues), Kevin McMahon (from AMSI Ireland) and Behrouz Nezafat (from SfGH UK).

The youth forum served as a venue to build a network of young change agents to generate ideas, explore best practices, encourage future collaborations, and network with other youth leaders from different backgrounds. The event seeked to target youth from various health professions.

The main objectives of the youth forum were to:

  • create a global conversation on the importance of human resources for health among the youth,
  • facilitate and encourage multidisciplinary partnerships and projects in the field of human resources for health, and
  • empower youth with the knowledge, skills and motivation to further the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health.

IFMSA successfully co-organized the Youth Forum which had over 100 participant from various health professions. It included:

  • Round Table Discussions: Youth’s role in the implementation of the recommendations of the High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth,
  • Sessions about re-thinking the Health Labor Market,
  • Rural Family Medicine Café: How can we build the rural health workforce of the future?,
  • Keynote speeches about Health Workforce: A Global Aspiration, Health workforce Innovation Mashup, and
  • A high-level advocacy panel.

The Youth Forum included as well the Launch of the Youth Call for Action, which is a commitment of youth to the human resources for health agenda to achieve better health for all and to support the path to Universal Health Coverage. It calls upon all relevant stakeholders from across health and social care and other sectors, spanning from local to global levels, to take the needed policy measures to expand and transform the workforce in health and social sectors, ensuring a sustainable fit-for-purpose health workforce, which meets the needs of the current and future generations. The process for the Call for Action is designed to be inclusive and participatory; making sure every voice is heard. IFMSA participated in drafting the call for action, and was one of the first organizations to endorse it. The Youth Call for Action was signed by 7 international organizations.

When it comes to the forum itself, it included many sessions, panels, poster and oral presentations of submissions related to HRH and many side events as well. During the opening ceremony, IFMSA represented by Kevin McMahon from AMSI Ireland, spoke about the importance of involving youth in decision making processes, and how they have the capability to be active participants and not only observers as they are the leaders of both today and tomorrow. In addition, IFMSA represented by the Vice President for External Affairs Batool Alwahdani, participated in a panel “Investing in Youth and Jobs: Report from the Youth Forum”, in which we shared examples from our federation on how youth and health students play an active role in the HRH 2030 agenda. We spoke about the theme event we organized in our August Meeting in Tanzania and we shared our experience in organizing the youth forum itself.

The 4th Global Forum on Human Resources for Health was a great opportunity for inter-professional collaboration with other organizations. It also gave us the opportunity to express our opinions on the involvement of youth in the decisions related to the health workforce and how they can take an active role in contributing to b better conditions for the future health workforce.

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