International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
6.3 Human resources for health
Statement: 

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, supported by the International Association of Dental Students, welcomes the efforts undertaken by WHO to accelerate progress in Human Resources for Health. Healthcare workers with adequate skills are needed to achieve both UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Member States must advance international recognition of health workers’ qualifications to optimize skills use, increase the benefits of and reduce the negative effects of health workers migration, and safeguard migrants’ rights. It is important to recognize the role that the migrant health workforce can play in bolstering health services by supporting understaffed services. This highlights the need to promote multilateral arrangements with regards to international recruitment and migration of health workers.

Community-level engagement of healthcare workers is key to achieve universal access to essential services. However, this requires appropriate training, supervision, and remuneration to all community level workers, in addition to ensuring decent working conditions and incentivizing remote practice. It is important to recognize that mid-level cadres and non-physician clinicians are the mainstays of health services delivery in resource-poor settings.

Women form a majority of the health workforce, but the pay gap remains considerable. We call upon Member States to ensure equal pay for equal work to empower female health workers. Moreover, policies must be put in place to create a safe space so that women and other underrepresented genders are able to take on leadership roles and are better represented in global health decision-making.

Finally, we call upon Member States to recognize the crucial role of youth with the necessary education, training, and skills, not only in the provision of healthcare but also in the construction and implementation of health policies and the promotion of well-being in their communities