|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 30-31
Strengthening of the Health Workforce to Meet Sustainable Development Goals in India
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2
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 Publication||20-Jun-2019|
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
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|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 2020 Feb 17];7:30-1. Available from: http://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2019/7/1/30/260832
The health stakeholders have gradually become aware about the extreme shortage of health workforce in low- and middle-income nations., 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. Further, till very recent time, health- and social sector-related jobs have been ignored and many positions have remained vacant., The available global estimates suggest that >18 million posts of health worker are still vacant.
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. 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. 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.,,
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.,, There is a definite scope for increasing the number of specialists and superspecialist seats in the medical colleges, provided they meet the prerequisites. 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.,
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. 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.,, 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.,
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., 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.,,,
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
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
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Garg S, Singh R, Grover M. India's health workforce: Current status and the way forward. Natl Med J India 2012;25:111-3.
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