• Users Online: 99
  • Print this page
  • Email this page


 
 
Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-31

Strengthening of the Health Workforce to Meet Sustainable Development Goals in India


1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication20-Jun-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JIHS.JIHS_7_19

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strengthening of the Health Workforce to Meet Sustainable Development Goals in India. J Integr Health Sci 2019;7:30-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strengthening of the Health Workforce to Meet Sustainable Development Goals in India. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 18];7:30-1. Available from: http://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2019/7/1/30/260832



Dear Sir,

The health stakeholders have gradually become aware about the extreme shortage of health workforce in low- and middle-income nations.[1],[2] In fact, the 2014 Ebola outbreak has exposed the deficit and emphasized on the need to ensure that major investments are made to bridge the existing gaps and enable the strengthening of the health system.[1] Further, till very recent time, health- and social sector-related jobs have been ignored and many positions have remained vacant.[2],[3] The available global estimates suggest that >18 million posts of health worker are still vacant.[2]

From the Indian perspective, extensive shortage of health workforce has been reported in all the cadres of workers, including the specialists, doctors, and paramedical workers.[2] Even though the number of medical colleges across the nation has increased exponentially, it is quite alarming that most of the posts in the primary health centers and community health centers remain vacant as there are not many takers.[3] This has made the entire situation quite challenging and we have faltered in ensuring the delivery of quality-assured health-care services, especially to those who need them the most.[1],[2],[3]

Thus, if we aim to attain universal health coverage, by the year 2030, we have to increase the number of health workforce, and the majority of the proposed expansion of health workforce should occur in low- and middle-income nations.[1],[2],[3] There is a definite scope for increasing the number of specialists and superspecialist seats in the medical colleges, provided they meet the prerequisites.[2] However, this alone won't achieve the set targets, unless the doctors decide to work in the rural or underprivileged settings and this can be accomplished either via ensuring compulsory bonds or by giving them an upper hand in the entrance examinations or also by improving the infrastructure of the health facilities, so that people are willing to work by choice and not by force.[2],[3]

Further, specialists from all the indigenous systems of medicine can also be employed, as it has already been proposed in the Indian Public Health Standards.[2] As far as paramedical workers are concerned, all the vacant positions need to be filled and the enrolled health personnel need to be trained periodically and supported for their responsibilities.[1],[2],[3] In addition, interventions such as allocating a major proportion of the budget on health workforce for their training and retention will also play a significant role in improving the existing health scenario.[4],[5]

In continuation, a 5-year action plan – Working for Health – has been developed to modify the global health workforce in such a way that the set targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be accomplished.[1],[4] Under this action plan, the focus has been given toward three domains, namely reduction of gender bias or inequity, encourage financial support to create a significant number of job vacancies, and educate the health workers and help them to gain the required skills, so that they can meet the needs of the local community.[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, there is an indispensable need to adopt a multisectoral and an interagency approach to bridge the prevailing health workforce gaps. This will simultaneously aid in the attainment of the SDGs and a better development of nations.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening the health workforce to move forward towards universal health coverage and accomplish the 2030 goals. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:305-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Garg S, Singh R, Grover M. India's health workforce: Current status and the way forward. Natl Med J India 2012;25:111-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Rao KD, Shahrawat R, Bhatnagar A. Composition and distribution of the health workforce in India: Estimates based on data from the national sample survey. WHO South East Asia J Public Health 2016;5:133-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Campbell J. Women, Decent Jobs, Economic Growth: an Opportunity to Recalibrate Investments in the Global Health and Social Workforce; 2017. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/commentaries/women-jobs-economy/en/. [Last accessed on 2019 Feb 14].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Safi N, Naeem A, Khalil M, Anwari P, Gedik G. Addressing health workforce shortages and maldistribution in Afghanistan. East Mediterr Health J 2018;24:951-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

Top
 
  Search
 
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article
References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed105    
    Printed5    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded26    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal