The Global Health Workforce: Crisis, Solutions & Opportunities


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Overview of health workforce in Africa: Numbers and beyond
Causes of crisis and solutions
Financing the health workforce
Global attention
You can help

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The Global Health Workforce: Crisis, Solutions & Opportunities

  1. 1. The Global Health Workforce: Crisis, Solutions & Opportunities By Eric A. Friedman Physicians for Human Rights Physicians for Human Rights National Student Conference Providence, RI, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2009 [Contact:]
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Overview of health workforce in Africa: Numbers and beyond </li></ul><ul><li>Causes of crisis and solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Financing the health workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Global attention </li></ul><ul><li>You can help </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview of health workforce in Africa: Numbers and beyond
  4. 4. Scope of the health workforce crisis in sub-Saharan Africa <ul><li>Sub-Saharan Africa has 24% of the world’s disease burden, but only 3% of the world’s health workers </li></ul><ul><li>Countries without 2.3 doctors/nurses/midwives per 1,000 population “very unlikely” to achieve Millennium Development Goals (World Health Organization) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>57 countries with severe shortages, including 36 in sub-Saharan Africa </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. By the numbers: A closer look <ul><li>Sub-Saharan Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short more than 800,000 doctors/nurses/midwives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short about 1.5 million health workers including managers and other health workers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health workforce needs to more than double </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Diversity (doctors/nurses/midwives per 1,000 population) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethiopia: 0.25 per 1,000 (2003) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kenya: 1.42 per 1,000 (2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>South Africa: 4.85 per 1,000 (2004) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Nurses, midwives, and physicians per 100,000 population
  7. 7. Beyond numbers <ul><li>Severe internal inequities, underserved rural areas </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to update health workers’ skills and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Poor management and lack of regular, supportive supervision </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of medicines and supplies </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of key skills such as human resource, financial, and program management </li></ul><ul><li>Restrictive policies (responsibilities of nurses and mid-level workers, retirement ages) </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate support for community health workers, caregivers </li></ul>
  8. 8. Internal inequities common <ul><li>Deep internal inequities of health worker distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Ghana: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physicians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Northern Region: 1 physician per 100,000 population </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greater Accra Region: 30 physicians per 100,000 population </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Northern Region: 34 nurses per 100,000 population </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greater Accra Region: 120 nurses per 100,000 population </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Causes and solutions
  10. 10. Causes of health workforce crisis <ul><li>Massive underfunding of the health sector (low salaries, poor working conditions, lack of medicines & supplies, insufficient training capacity) </li></ul><ul><li>HIV/AIDS (health worker death, burden on health systems) </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate recognition of importance of health workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Brain drain (push and pull factors) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 28% of its doctors and 11% of its nurses to brain drain </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Brain drain causes: Push factors <ul><li>Health professionals’ own needs: unmet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low salaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dangers of occupational infection: HIV, other diseases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress from high workloads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inadequate training, supervision, and management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of opportunities for continuing education, professional advancement, and research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-service training often poor preparation for actual practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs of patients: unmet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of medicines, supplies, equipment, and other support required to be healers </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Pull factors <ul><li>Opposite of push factors </li></ul><ul><li>Recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>Health worker shortages in Northern countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. shortage of 340,000-1 million nurses by 2020 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. shortage of 80,000-200,000 doctors by 2020 </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Health workforce solutions <ul><ul><li>Beyond the health system (addressing economy, political situation, corruption, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health system investments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medicines, supplies, equipment, facility infrastructure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Logistic systems, referral systems, financial management, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Infection prevention and control (e.g., gloves) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health worker-specific investments: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial and non-financial incentives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Massive scale-up of pre-service training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Continuing professional development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive health and HIV/AIDS services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health workforce management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mid-level and community health workers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Retirement age </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Health system investments <ul><li>Central to any comprehensive approach </li></ul><ul><li>Ondo State, Nigeria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>62% of health workers surveyed said they most needed adequate medicines, supplies, and equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State government focused investments in these areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proportion nurses working in rural areas increased from 28% to 66% within 3 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other development efforts contributed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partners In Health, Haiti </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor, rural area in central Haiti </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive strategy includes adequate supply of essential medicines and removing user fees and patient payments for medicines > health workers can better help their patients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategy to retain health workers extremely effective, perfect in some clinics </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Health workforce investments: Management <ul><li>Considerable potential to improve health worker experience and effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Human resource management skills rarely prioritized </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supportive supervision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distribute health workers based on actual workload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance-based promotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Match health workers’ skills and training to facility needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjust training curriculum to match actual health worker experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase efficiency of recruitment procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for health worker input and feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear job descriptions and career pathways </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Health workforce investments: Salaries <ul><li>Malawi’s 52% salary increase </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Central to Emergency Human Resource Programme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding from Malawi government, Global Fund, United Kingdom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment of first 8 months found positive impact on retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson on managing expectations: Increase led to higher tax bracket so effective increase was 24%, leading to some frustration </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Health workforce investments: Incentives <ul><li>Incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uganda: Lunch allowance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ghana: Car loan scheme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Director of Eastern Region reports loans (and post-graduate medical education) have had very positive impact on retention </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ghana has also built affordable housing for health workers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Rural incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasingly being introduced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zambia has set of incentives for physicians who agree to serve 3 years in designated rural areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hardship allowance, housing allowance, education allowance for the doctors’ children, eligibility and some funding for post-graduate training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>70+ physicians participating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding to other categories of health workers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Health workforce investments: HIV/AIDS Services <ul><li>Special confidentiality concerns and challenges </li></ul><ul><li>On- and off-site models </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive HIV/AIDS care in Swaziland </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HIV and TB Wellness Centre of Excellence for HIV provides range of services for health workers and immediate families in largest urban area of country, including </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>testing, counseling and treatment for HIV and TB </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>stress management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>training center for continuous professional development </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>occupational health and safety </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar centers planned in Malawi, Zambia, and Lesotho </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive impact on morale and retention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should include efforts to reduce stigmatization among health professionals </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Health workforce investments: Training <ul><li>Pre-service training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long neglected, now new investments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Malawi’s College of Medicine will more than double its overall capacity by 2011, while its main nursing school will nearly double its capacity by the same year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for re-thinking curricula, such as fully incorporating AIDS, human rights, community focus, health professional response to violence against women </li></ul>
  20. 20. Task-shifting <ul><li>Develop models of care, and possibly new cadres, that enable all health workers to make the best use of their competencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health Surveillance Assistants in Malawi are community health workers who provide a wide range of basic health services at the community level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ghana strategy includes creation of Health Assistants, Laboratory Assistants, Nurse Assistants, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethiopia training 30,000 Health Extension Workers to extend primary care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurses becoming major provides of AIDS treatment </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Retention strategies in rural areas (1) <ul><li>Incentives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Zambia, elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives to reduce social and professional isolation including Internet/phone and expenses-paid trips into the city (Partners In Health) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hire certain health workers on contract with requirement that remain in rural area </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clinton AIDS Initiative, Global Fund, and US government supporting Kenya government to hire unemployed nurses (and other HCWs) in Kenya to work on contract in rural areas, including 830 through US government support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improving basic health infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ondo State, Nigeria </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Retention strategies in rural areas (2) <ul><li>Community-based health workers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Health Officers (2 years training) contributing to dramatic improvements in health in Ghana </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One district: In 5 years or less, childhood immunization rate tripled, maternal and child mortality fell significantly, and rate of tuberculosis defaulters dropped from 73% to 0% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus recruitment for health professional students in rural areas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>South Africa study found that students from rural areas 3-8 times more likely to return to practice in rural area </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expose students to rural health care during training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moi University (Kenya) nursing students spend significant time in rural areas </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Financing the health workforce
  24. 24. Financing: Africa needs estimates <ul><li>World Health Organization: ~$10 per capita to train and pay new doctors/nurses/midwives, ~$20 per capita if include doubling salaries for retention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-Saharan Africa: $7.5 billion in 2010, $14.6 billion in 2015 at higher salaries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global Health Workforce Alliance Scaling Up Education & Training Task Force </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education investments for 1.5 million new health workers: $26.4 billion over 10 years + infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Combined estimate of US fair share for sub-Saharan Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$1.8 billion in 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$4.0 billion in 2015 </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Global attention
  26. 26. PEPFAR <ul><li>Already some health worker focus, with emphasis on task-shifting </li></ul><ul><li>PEPFAR reauthorization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Train and support the retention of at least 140,000 new health professionals and paraprofessionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help countries achieve 2.3 doctors/nurses/midwives per 1,000 population and strengthen primary health care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support national health strategy, advance safe working conditions, promote codes of conduct on ethical recruitment </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. G8 and Global Fund <ul><li>G8 (2008) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help countries achieve 2.3 health workers per 1,000 population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support countries in developing robust health workforce plans </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global Fund </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Round 8 (2008) included at least 25 successful proposals with significant health system strengthening elements, including expanding pre-service training, improving health worker retention, and incentivizing health workers to serve in rural areas </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. You Can Help
  29. 29. In-district PEPFAR meetings on health workers <ul><li>Law sets stage, now need successful implementation </li></ul><ul><li>In-district meetings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriations!!! – Overall foreign aid, PEPFAR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure that PEPFAR does train and retain at least 140,000 new health workers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help countries develop and fully implement rights-based, needs-based health workforce strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish policy to enable (at the least) all health workers in PEPFAR-supported programs to have access to HIV and other health services and safe working conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Train on respecting rights and dignity of all patients </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Dear Colleague letters? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Health workforce legislation <ul><li>African Health Capacity Investment Act on 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investments in health workforce and systems in sub-Saharan Africa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senate and House progress, but overshadowed by PEPFAR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strong interest from Rep. Lee and others in re-introducing revised health workforce bill </li></ul><ul><li>We’ll need your help! </li></ul>
  31. 31. Health care and safety for health workers <ul><li>Right to access health care, right to safe working conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Improves retention </li></ul><ul><li>Petition to have PEPFAR establish policy ensuring health care and safety for all health workers in its programs </li></ul><ul><li>Material for endorsements: yours, friends and colleagues, professors, deans, organizations, universities </li></ul>