World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists

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

In September 2017 the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) published the Global Anaesthesia Workforce Survey, the most comprehensive study of the global anaesthesia workforce to date. This revealed a critically low number of physician anaesthesia providers globally, with marked disparities in the distribution of the anaesthesia workforce between regions and between countries.
77 countries have below the WFSA-recommended target of 5 physician anaesthesiologists per 100,000 population, with particularly low densities of between 0 and 1 physician providers in many countries in the African and South-East Asia regions.
The WFSA’s World Anaesthesia Workforce Map illustrates that Liberia, for example, does not have a single specialist physician anaesthesia provider for its 4.5 million people, compared to a country like Switzerland where there over 30 per 100,000 population.
The WFSA is pleased that Workforce 2030 invites the Executive Board to encourage all Member States to report their national data on human resources for health through the online platform for national health workforce accounts (EB144/26 page 7). We welcome the review of the Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel’s relevance and effectiveness (EB144/25 page 5-6).
There cannot be UHC without a scale up of surgical services worldwide, and an increasing number of studies have highlighted the cost-effectiveness of surgical treatment. Safe surgery depends on safe anaesthesia.
The WFSA welcomes the submission of a progress report by the Director-General on the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health: Workforce 2030. We call on the World Health Assembly to continue to support human resources for health and to seek adequate funding for transformative education and appropriate numbers of anaesthesia, surgical, obstetric &, trauma providers.