Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

More Health Workers Needed

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

More Health Workers Needed

Article excerpt

Some countries in the WHO European Region may not have enough health workers to respond to the growing health needs of their ageing populations in coming years, according to a WHO report.

The report, entitled Core health indicators in the WHO European Region 2015, with a special focus on human resources, shows that health workforce shortages and imbalances constitute a major public health concern for the region that requires prompt action.

Although the number of healthcare workers has increased overall in the region by nearly 10% over the last decade, this growth was uneven between countries and not necessarily in the countries where health professionals are most needed, the report said.

One in three physicians is more than 55 years old, an increase of 6 percentage points over the past 7 years.

The report found that there were five times more physicians in some countries than in others, and that some countries had nine times fewer nurses than others calculated per head of population. Greece registered 619 physicians per 100 000 population in 2013, for example, while Albania had 128.

The number of medical graduates must increase to replace them, for example, in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, where the number of physicians per 100 000 habitants is below 200. …

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