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140th WHO Executive Board Meeting

Geneva - Switzerland

Agenda Item:
8.1 Human resources for health and implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations' High-Level
Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth


Honorable Chairperson of the Executive Board, Distinguished Delegates,

We, the International Federation of Medical Students Association, and the International Federation of
Pharmaceutical Students Federation, welcome the ongoing discussions on health employment.

In fact, during our daily practice, we realize the depth of challenges faced globally - challenges relating to
forecasting deficits, quality assurance, distribution, migration, and health workforce planning. As these issues
transcend national borders, they pose a threat to realizing Universal Health Coverage and achieving progress on
the Sustainable Development Goals. Without an efficient, community-oriented and adequately paid health
workforce, progress on human development may be stalled. As recent health workers strikes in Kenya attest, we
are still far from achieving our vision.

We are calling on member states to increase investments into health education in order to begin tackling the
issues pertaining to the shortage of healthcare workers. However, this measure will not be enough, as the current
shortage is compounded by the fact that the skills, competencies, clinical experiences and expectations of this
health workforce are often not well aligned with the needs of the population they serve. Therefore we need to
ensure that schools of medicine and pharmacy are socially accountable, and that they take into account the needs
of the communities at a local level.

We strongly reaffirm that investing in health workforce planning and training is crucial to social and economic

Thank you for your attention.


Mr Openy Abraham
International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).