The Fourth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health – Building the health workforce of the future was held in Dublin, Ireland on 13-17 November 2017. This conference only takes place every four years and is the largest open conference on human resources for health related issues. This year the Forum attracted more than 1,000 delegates from across the globe, including a range of actors across education, health, labour and finance sectors.
The Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association (CPA) was represented by our Global Health Advisor and Trustee, Oksana Pyzik. Pharmacists and pharmacy staff play a key role in the global healthcare workforce but are often under represented at the high-level policy setting. As such, Oksana advocated for the presence and wider recognition of pharmacists in the discussions held by high-impact decision-makers, leaders, and investors. Oksana also promoted CPA activities around falsified medicines, and antimicrobial resistance, and worked to further intersectoral collaborations with delegates at the high-level plenaries and side sessions.
The central theme of the conference was around expanding, upskilling and retaining the health workforce of the future. Projections indicate that an additional 40 million heath worker jobs will be generated by 2030, mostly in upper-middle and high-income countries. At the same time, however, a needs-based shortfall of 18 million health workers is anticipated for the same period, with shortages conversely concentrated in low- and lower-middle income countries (WHO, 2017).
With growing evidence from the World Bank Group that investments in human capital lead to faster economic growth, it makes sound strategic sense to increase health financing around recruitment, development, and training of the health workforce in developing countries. However, it is not just the least developed countries that stand to benefit, all countries gain from having a well-educated workforce with the knowledge and skills needed for productive and fulfilling work.
A partner of CPA, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) hosted a side event on the Workforce Development Goals (WDGs) led by FIPEd Director Professor Ian Bates. This session outlined the the shared FIP-WHO agenda on pharmacy workforce policy, practice and research development across the 13 pharmaceutical WDGs with status reports shared by country representatives and delegates
The Forum concluded with the adoption of an outcome statement: The Dublin Declaration. The 24 item document summarized a call for action across academia, civil society, employers, foundations, health care professional associations and unions, and youth organizations.
Read the Dublin Declaration here: http://www.who.int/hrh/events/Dublin_Declaration-on-HumanResources-for-Health.pdf?ua=1
The Forum was convened by Trinity College, Dublin, Health Service Executive, Irish Aid, the Department of Health, Ireland, the World Health Organization and the Global Health Workforce Network. Co-sponsors included Member States and supporting organizations engaged in the work of the Global Health Workforce Network.
Access the Youth Call to Action here: http://www.who.int/hrh/events/Youth-call-for-action-web.pdf?ua=1
For further information on the FIP Pharmaceutical Workforce Development Goals see: https://fip.org/files/fip/PharmacyEducation/2016_report/2016-11-Education-workforce-development-goals.pdf