New ILO Report: The World Needs More Rural Health Workers, A Lot More

Aanjalie CollureOn April 27, a new report released by the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) made a distressing finding: without adequate numbers of health workers, especially in rural areas, more than half of the world’s rural population—and more than three-quarters of the rural population in Africa—will go without access to effective health care in 2015.

The report, entitled Global Evidence on Inequities in Rural Health Protection, was the ILO’s response to observable trends in economic disinvestment and neglect in rural health systems around the world. Now, with this report indicating that nearly 56% of the world’s rural population—and 83% of Africa’s rural population—live without critical health care access, the ILO has provided powerful evidence to demonstrate why strengthening the rural health workforce is imperative to filling this gap. Read more »

Managing a Health Workforce Crisis: Lessons from the Global Context

Maurice Middleberg

“Happy families are all alike,” goes the famous opener to Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. But are countries with a critical shortage of health workers all alike, in terms of their health outcomes?

While in Nairobi for Kenya’s first national conference on human resources for health, I talked about how we tend to lump the so-called “health workforce crisis” countries together and assume that their health worker shortages correspond to similarly poor health outcomes.

As it turns out, some countries have managed their health workforce shortage more effectively than others. Read more »

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