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The World Health Professions Alliance speaks for more than 41 million health professionals worldwide, and is the only alliance which convenes knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.

EB140 Provisional Agenda Item 8.1 Human resources for health and implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations’ High-Level Commission of Health Employment and Economic Growth

WHA year

January 2017

Representing the International Council of Nurses I am speaking on behalf of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), representing over 26 million nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists, and physicians in over 130 countries.

WHPA strongly supports the Commission’s report including the ten recommendations and five specific actions and the clear statement it has made on investing in health. Health is a strong driver of the economy, not an economic drain – a strong and resilient healthcare system offers secure jobs, helps countries to better overcome economic crises and respond to catastrophes and contributes to social justice and stability. There is no health without a workforce and with the right investments, such as adequate funding to ensure safe staffing and expansion of education programmes, we have a real opportunity to deliver universal health coverage and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

As the backbone of the healthcare system, health professionals are decisive in delivering the Commission’s ambitions and our organisations are committed to prioritizing activities that support the implementation of the recommendations in order to do so.

The Commission’s report highlights that the success of WHO’s global strategy on human resources for health is contingent on supporting and growing the workforce through innovative retention and recruitment strategies.

WHPA commends the countries and stakeholders who, at the high-level meeting in December of last year, voiced their commitments to action to take forward the work of the Commission.

Successful implementation of the recommendations will require action across all sectors and strong and strategic collaboration between public and private sectors, civil society, trade unions, health worker associations, regulatory bodies and education and training institutions.

In this regard, we urge Member States and stakeholders to implement the Commission’s recommendations in order to improve human health and to unlock the true social and economic potential of health employment.

Thank you.