This week on Dec 14-15 the High-Level Ministerial Meeting on Health Employment and Economic Growth: From Recommendations to Action took place in Geneva. Linda Mans, global health advocate at Wemos, was present as coordinator of the working group on Human Resources for Health of Medicus Mundi International. ‘Access to health is not just an investment case.’
In the meeting, governments, permanent missions to the UN, employers, health worker associations and unions, as well as civil society organizations, global initiatives, and others engaged in health, education, youth, gender equality, decent work, and inclusive economic growth, came together to agree on a five-year action plan for 2017-2020 for investing in health workforce. The definitive action plan will be presented in March 2017.
In her presentation at a roundtable about accountability, commitment and advocacy, Linda Mans stressed that inter-sectoral action, dedicated political support, an equal partnership approach and sustained funding are crucially important for advancing the development agenda of equitable health outcomes, inclusive economic growth and improved health security. She referred to conclusions of research from Remco van de Pas (MMI), who studied the policy implementation of commitments of national governments and other actors at the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health.
Checks and balances
Linda emphasized that it is important not to forget the political dimensions of stakeholders who participate in networks such as the Global Health Workforce Network. This was launched in October 2016 as a global mechanism for stakeholder consultation, dialogue and coordination on health workforce policies on the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health and the recommendations of the Commission. The network should include civil society organizations, because, as Linda put it, ‘The role of civil society is one of raising awareness.’ Civil society is there for the necessary checks and balances.
Linda’s presentation built further on Wemos’ experience in the implementation of the WHO Code and how parties can be brought together (like unions, NGOs, health workforce, migrant organizations and ministries) to share ‘best practices’ and advocacy. She stressed that it all comes down to shared responsibilities. ‘We also need to return to the premise, and promote that, access to health is a right and shared responsibility (global public good), and not just an investment case.’
Read more about Wemos’ work on Human Resources for Health
Watch the recording of Roundtable 5 ‘Galvanizing accountability, commitment and advocacy’ (Dec 14th)