Shortage: Health Care Providers at Global Level – WHODr. Avnish Jolly,25 May:According to recently released report by World Health Organization (WHO), there are 2.4 million physicians, nurses and midwives to provide essential health interventions. This means that over a billion people have no access to healthcare professionals. According to report, ‘Scaling up, Saving Lives’ – launched at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Wednesday – said 57 countries faced crisis of fewer Health Care Providers than required, 36 of which were from sub-Saharan Africa and five in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Most important findings of the report are world is facing a serious shortage of Health Care Providers. The crisis is impairing essential life-saving interventions such as childhood immunisation, safe pregnancy and delivery services for mothers and access of treatment for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB.
It said that India’s general shortage of medical personnel had been intensified by poor distribution of Health Care Providers. More than 80% of India’s Medical and Paramedical staff works in the private sector in higher income urban areas. A Planning Commission document had recently said India was short of Eighteen Lac Health Care Providers (Six Lac Doctors, Ten Lac Nurses and Two Lac Dental Surgeons). For every 10,000 Indians, there was one doctor.
According to National Rural Health Mission, the 110-page report said India planned to recruit around Seven Lac Health Care Providers at village and sub-district levels by 2013. It said that worldwide, there were 59.8 million health workers. About two-thirds of them provided health services, the rest were management and support workers.
The report also said significant International Migration of Health Care Providers was another global issue. Western countries are often accused of poaching Health Care Providers from the developing countries with the attraction of better perks. But this accounts for only 12% of the gap in Health Care Providers. The Planning Commission, however, estimates that Health Care Providers in developed countries form nearly 5% of their workforce.