International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
12.3 Human resources for health

This statement is delivered by International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, and supported by the International Association of Dental Students, representing over 1.5 million healthcare students.

As youth, we are strong advocates for the global movement for Human Resources for Health and we firmly believe that the quality and quantity of the health workforce play a significant role in improving global health and in achieving equity in health. We firmly support WHO for addressing this imminent issue by adopting and following up on the Global Code, however, we see opportunities for improvement and further advancement.

Firstly, we call upon Member States to pledge political commitment and ensure that data on human resources for health, including health workforce migration, are collected reliably through appropriate and thorough reporting. As of March 2019, 122 member states provided national contact details for exchanging information on health personnel migration, and only 80 Member States submitted a national report. Thus, we urge the remaining member states to actively participate in the exchange of contact information and provide national reports on time.

Secondly, we call upon Member States to invest and foster investment in the health workforce and in the education of future health workers. Placement of healthcare professionals in adequate numbers and even distribution, ending discrimination in healthcare settings, ensuring skills mix can be only be achieved with the proper economic support. We must remember that as evidence shows, healthcare is a labor market that generates jobs and economic growth, and fosters diversity. Thus, appropriate funding would accelerate progress towards SDGs 3 (“Ensure healthy lives and promote health and well-being for all at all ages”), 4 (education), 5 (gender equality) and 8 (decent work).

Thank you.