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World shortage of health care workers to rise to 10m: WEF

Healthcare worker shortage:A global shortage of healthcare workers may rise to 10 million by 2030, affecting access to care, increasing inequities and treatment of mental health, the WEF stated.

HQ Team

January 10, 2023: A global shortage of healthcare workers may rise to 10 million by 2030, affecting access to care, increasing inequities and treatment of mental health, the WEF stated.

“The threat of violence and burnout are real and is one of the contributors to why doctors are considering other professions,” said Kashish Malhotra at the Department of Internal Medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, India.

Covid-19 put additional strain on healthcare systems, disrupted global supply chains of essential products, and pushed overburdened care providers to breaking point, according to the WEF report.

The pandemic, which so far has claimed the lives pop more than 6.5 million people, resulted in a 25% drop in coverage of essential health services.

The Covid-19 pandemic set in place a “remarkable progress for development and delivery of medicines,” said Shyam Bishen, Head of Health & Healthcare, World Economic Forum.

Long-term change

The focus should be now on long-term system change to stop health services deteriorating in the face of economic crises, he said.

“Businesses and policy-makers must think beyond false trade-offs of efficiency over social fairness and harness the power of public-private partnerships and outcomes-based regulation to drive healthy equity by the end of the decade,” said Bishen. 

The report stated that four areas could drive change inequitable access and outcomes; healthcare systems transformation; technology and innovation; and environmental sustainability.

 Adrienne Rivlin, a Partner at LEK Consulting, which worked with WEF, said the strategic outlook was vital as it unites stakeholders across different sectors, industries and geographies to a shared vision for health and healthcare in 2035.

On top of this, public regulations vary by jurisdiction, and the lack of common standards across the global industry erodes trust, inhibits reimbursements and slows the sector’s return to pre-pandemic stability, according to the report.

Disrupted supply chain

The private sector is hampered by fragile and disrupted supply chains, while a go-it-alone business mindset further slows healthcare’s systemic transformation.

As healthcare systems seek to adapt and evolve, innovations frequently outpace regulatory change.

“Too often we see many companies trying to find the path through the forest themselves and each of them getting lost and not learning from one another,” said Jeff Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Friends of Cancer Research.

Remote care helps both patients and workers. It improves convenience, adherence and access to information across geographies. 

By reducing the need for traditional infrastructure, costs per patient fall.

Telehealth goes beyond online consultation. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics further support clinical decisions, home diagnostics, home-administered drug delivery systems and patient monitoring devices.

Older adults

By harmonizing data use, “physicians are building better relationships with patients through telehealth, and we are seeing a greater uptick in usage by older adults,” said Jisella Veath Dolan, chief global advocacy officer of a homecare network.

“We want greater accessibility to real-time answers,” said Dolan at Honor + Home Instead

The World Economic Forum annual meeting 2023 will be held in the Swiss town of Davos from January 16 to 20.

The meeting will convene more than 2,700 leaders from business, government and civil society. Leaders from healthcare organizations will focus on driving public-private partnerships for better health outcomes.

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