Statement made on May 22nd 2015 during the 68th World Health Assembly on Item 17.2: WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel
IFMSA welcomes the document A68/32 addressing the implementation of the code.
Whilst applauding the efforts of Member States and WHO, we, as future health professionals, raise a concern that current Code is mainly focused on regulating the migration of health personnels.
It is fundamental that member states apply Code article 3.6 and tackle fundamental factors that cause the migration such as poor or unsafe practice environments, poor education and excessive workload, sometimes over 100 hours per week.
We are facing mental and physical strains, harming our practice, decreasing patient safety and exponentially increasing the costs of healthcare systems, and sometimes even leading to suicide. Health workers and students must be protected from violence, discrimination and exploitation in the workplace, and be allowed to operate within a positive practice environment that guarantees occupational safety and health.
We urgently need evidence-based data on core factors leading to migration such as poor education, working environment, equitable distribution and retention of health workforce. We urge member states to increase the engagement of health workers, educators and students in the process of data collection and creation of national implementation strategies.
We highlight the problems in the efficient implementation of the Code as stated in the report and we urge the WHO Secretariat to acknowledge the value of the input from stakeholders in enforcing accountability in accordance with article 9.4.
Health in the emerging post-2015 development framework will remain aspirational unless accompanied by strategies involving transformational efforts on health workforce capability that don’t only focus on developing countries.
IFMSA commits to participate in the discussions related to the creation of a Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health and we encourage member states to have a more comprehensive discussion on dimensions of current health workforce crisis.
Without motivated health workers, there is no health care.