The World Medical Association, Inc.
Honourable Chairperson, Distinguished Delegates,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the World Medical Association, representing 9 million physicians around the world.
The WMA welcomes the work of the secretariat on implementing the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the World Health Assembly Resolution 69.11. We also welcome the progress made on developing a global action plan for healthy lives and well-being for all. We support the secretariat’s commitment to a multisectoral approach to achieving the SDGs and initiatives such as hosting the first WHO global conference on air pollution last year.
As physicians, we are profoundly concerned with the wellbeing of our patients and that progress is not happening fast enough on a number of areas. If SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages - is to be achieved, we will need to have a strong and balanced health workforce, yet the latest data available shows that 76 countries still have less than one physician per thousand population.
In addition, health professionals are increasingly the target of violence everywhere in the world, affecting them profoundly in the discharge of their duty as well as their physical and moral integrity, with disastrous consequences on the provision of health care and patients’ safety. Achieving SDG3 requires as well safe working conditions.
We call on the secretariat and governments to work closely with national medical associations, health professional organisation and other relevant stakeholders to prioritise the urgent need to develop and strengthen a safe health workforce as a key component of national health action plans in the delivery of SDG 3.