Health Workers: A Triple Return for Health, Economic Growth, and Employment
Creating more jobs for health workers holds the potential to bolster health and health security, spur inclusive economic growth, and empower women and youth, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan said today after the first meeting of the Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth Lyon, France.
Growing populations, changing disease patterns and economic trends are projected to lead to the creation of about 40 million new health sector jobs by 2030, mostly in middle and high-income countries. Conversely, there will be a projected shortage of 18 million health workers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, mostly in low- and lower-middle income countries.
This mismatch poses a threat not only to human health, but to health security and the global economy, as West Africa’s Ebola outbreak demonstrated.
“The Commission calls for a change in the way policy-makers look at the health sector, not as a drain on resources but as a source of opportunities,” said Dr Chan. “Employment in the health sector can operate as a counterforce to the world’s growing inequalities in income levels and opportunities.”
- Health Care