I speak on behalf of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), as part of the WHPA, a coalition of health professionals that represents over 41 million dentists, pharmacists, nurses, physicians and physiotherapists.
We thank WHO for the DG’s report on the action plan for health employment and inclusive economic growth and urge Member States to be bold when discussing a renewed mandate. This should leverage the International Year of Health and Care Workers, focusing on the need to retain, protect and invest in the health workforce for COVID-19 recovery and into the future.
There is an urgent need to invest in the workforce and we welcome the investment agenda proposal. According to the report, the final budget of the 2017-2021 action plan had a US$ 63 million deficit. Stronger commitments must be made and then achieved. Governments must understand that investment in the health workforce makes economic sense.
We are testament and firm believers of the power of working together. The upcoming working group to produce the new mandate must include health professionals to ensure the response properly addresses real education and job needs. We highly recommended that Members States and WHO reach out to health professional organisations at the national and international levels.
The 2020 World Patient Safety Day theme was “Health worker safety: a priority for patient safety” and this pandemic has highlighted that decent and safe working conditions are essential to deliver better health outcomes, overcome economic crises and respond more effectively to disasters. This can be achieved through Positive Practice Environments – healthcare settings that support decent working conditions, attract and retain staff, provide quality patient care, strive for excellence and strengthen the health sector as a whole. We urge governments to Stand Up for Positive Practice Environments and provides concrete actions to do so.