Dear All, I have just received this email which may be of interest to WG members:
The COVID-19 pandemic made the merit of the health workforce visible. Following WHO, “ability of health systems to perform well and respond appropriately to the new challenges they face is strongly influenced by the availability of health workers with relevant skills, in sufficient numbers, located where they are needed, and working in an environment that motivates and engages them” (https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Health-systems/health-workforce). COVID-19 has revealed huge problems in the health workforce, in particular in relation to nurses and public health workers. However, the problems are more general and stretch far beyond COVID-19. On top of this, health labour markets are shrinking due to demographic change. Educational systems are lagging behind in providing new competences. Occupational systems prioritise specialisation, while public health and generalist competences are lacking. These trends create a widening demand-and-supply gap and health systems that lack resilience, pandemic preparedness and responsiveness to global health needs. The problems are increasingly recognised and there is greater recognition of healthcare workers. However, data and research evidence on successful health workforce policies are lacking and COVID-19 is adding a number of new and urgent questions.