Turning the health workforce crisis into opportunity

This week, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its Youth, Education & Employment Strategy, ‘Youth at Heart’. With this strategy, for which we provided input last summer, the Dutch government aims to invest in more perspective for young people in the Sahel, Horn of Africa and Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) regions, with a focus on education and employment. In our opinion, investing in health worker jobs for these regions’ young populations would both improve their career opportunities and future, while at the same time tackle the large health workers shortage that many of these countries face.

Many low- and -middle-income countries face high unemployment rates, especially among women and youth. At the same time, many of these countries are in dire need of more health workers. This global health workforce shortage can be reversed by making the right investments in education and training, and jobs creation will build a brighter future, especially for youth, male and female.

 

From crisis to opportunity
In the regions MENA, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, approximately 25% of all youth is currently unemployed, while Sub-Saharan Africa has a youth unemployment rate of approximately 12%. There is much to be gained if the right investments are made in educating and training this group, turning the employment and health workforce crises into promising opportunities. In the context of Universal Health Coverage, investments in a fit-for-purpose, educated, motivated and supported health workforce is a two-edged sword: it contributes to a strong health system and provides jobs for many.

 

Read our opinion piece ‘Health workforce shortages: turning crisis into opportunity

Read more about our input for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Strategy

Read the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ ‘Youth At Heart’ Strategy (Dutch)

 

Recent News items

The Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation policy document does not sufficiently address access to healthcare for poorer people

14-07-2022

The new policy paper of Minister Schreinemacher of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, “Doen waar Nederland goed in is (“Doing what the Netherlands is good at”), is very much focused on Dutch business interests and seems to have insufficient attention for realising access to health care for poorer population groups. The Minister indicates that she wants to invest more in public-private collaborations in low- and middle-income countries, also in healthcare. As a result, there is a great risk that healthcare will become more commercial and therefore unaffordable for people with fewer financial resources. To provide good healthcare, the Minister should, instead, contribute to strengthening the capacity and financial resources in the public sector. 

Continue reading

What are best practices to address brain drain of health workers?

07-07-2022

What are best (regional) practices when it comes to addressing brain drain – i.e. the emigration of skilled workers, including health workers – and what action is needed on EU level? With this open consultation, the European Commission is interested in feedback on the scale and dynamics of brain drain, and in successful practices and regional strategies and policies to tackle the emigration of qualified workers. Wemos has provided input to the consultation. We recommend, for example, that EU Member States use existing instruments to implement policies and strategies based on evidence, to strengthen their health workforce.

Continue reading