Introduction / Problem Statement
A robust health system is needed to ensure that the best quality health care services are delivered to the patients and therefore health systems must be sustained by a motivated and trained health workforce. In fact, as the complexity of health care services grows, services become increasingly dependent on the competencies of more than one profession, requiring multi-professional teams of health-care providers (1). A Health Workforce can be defined as the health care professionals (including dentists, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, psychologists, etc) and all people who assist with the functioning of health systems (administrative assistants, hospital managers, ambulance drivers, etc). (2)
According to the European Commission, by 2020, with no effective measures, there will be a potential shortfall of around 1 million healthcare workers in the EU. The Health Workforce situation is not an issue that only relates to Health Professionals, but to us, health students and the future Health Workforce, who play a vital role in the decision-making process and the strategies that can tackle this complex issue. In line with this, the World Health Organisation’s “Global strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030” recognizes that “diversity in the health workforce is an opportunity to be harnessed through strengthened collaborative approaches to social accountability, interprofessional education and practice, and closer integration of the health and social services workforce to improve long-term care for ageing populations.” (3)
As we can clearly see, Interprofessional Education is highly connected to the sustainability of our Health Workforce and Health Systems, therefore requiring a comprehensive and coordinated approach to tackle all threats aforementioned.
Our Health Systems are facing a growing number of threats, not only the recent pandemic but also issues like antimicrobial resistance, climate change, patient safety and non-communicable diseases. With all the threats that our health systems face, only through a strong multidisciplinary approach can we solve these common challenges, guaranteeing the efficiency, sustainability and best possible health outcomes of our health-care.
With this in mind, IFMSA European Region and IPSF European Regional Office started an initiative that aims to highlight the importance of Interprofessional Collaboration and Education in solving one of the worst threats we are and are going to face, the Health Workforce crisis.
Check our Call for Action on Interprofessional Collaboration and Education!
Link to the document:
Link to design:
Check out our Interprofessional Collaboration and Education Campaign!
- 25th of May 2020, 4 pm GMT
- Dr. Ivan Dimov Ivanov (World Health Organization)
- Omnia El Omrani (IFMSA Liaison Officer Public Health Issues)
- Hera Ali (IPSF Chairperson of Public Health)
Further reading and references
If you want to know more about this topic, check the following resources:
- Dubois & Singh, 2009; Dussault et al., 2010; Scott et al., 2011; European Commission, 2012
- Monitoring the building blocks of health systems: a handbook of indicators and their measurement strategies; WHO, 2010
- Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice, WHO, 2010
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