On 5 June 2014, the partners of the ’Health workers for all and all for health workers’ (HW4All) project released a European Call to Action in support of the implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. EPHA has been involved in raising awareness of this Code since 2011 and will be co-promoting the European Call to Action, entitled ’A health worker for everyone, everywhere!’, which is now open for signatures by both organisations and individuals.
In their Press Release to mark the launch of the European Call to Action, Hw4All emphasise that the time for action on the health workforce is now: the world is 7.2 million health workers short, which includes an estimated one million in Europe, plus another million if auxilliary health workers are taken into account. This situation seriously threatens the health of people worldwide.
At the same time, ’brain drain’ is affecting health systems in both middle and low income countries and in Europe; many countries around the world are severely affected by international recruitment. A number of EU countries recruit trained health personnel in poorer countries, thereby aggravating inequality between countries and weakening health systems.
The 2010 WHO Global Code of Practice addresses the root causes of migration and brain drain, health workers training, retention, working conditions, remuneration, and their rights. In spite of the Code - the implementation of which also been integrated into the European Commission’s Action Plan on the European Health Workforce - many countries hardly pay attention to the sustainable management of health workforces.
(For more information, see also EPHA’s Briefing on the WHO Global Code of Practice)
European Call to Action - Recommendations
To secure sustainable health workforces in the future, both inside and outside Europe, HW4All has launched a Call to Action to European decision makers, including EU institutions, national ministries and key stakeholders involved in health personnel planning, training, employment and mobility. It contains the following recommendations:
The Call to Action is now open for signatures on the HW4All project website. It will be submitted by HW4All to European decision makers at a conference in 2015.