The World Health Organization estimates that there is a shortage of more than 4.3 million health care professionals in the world. Therefore, most people in the world today do not receive the health care services that they deserve. The shortage of health care professionals has made it difficult for people to gain access to life-saving health care services. The most vital health care services that many people are usually unable to gain access to include child immunization and prevention from contracting HIV/AIDS. The international recruitment of health care professionals from low and middle-income countries has made this situation worse. For example, studies reveal that approximately1200 health care professionals were trained between 1990 and 2001 in Zimbabwe. However, only 360 health care professionals were present in the country in 2006 (Taylor, Hwenda, & Daulaire, 2011).
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It is said that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are the ones that lack enough trained health care personnel. It is also estimated that these countries have a disease burden of 24 percent. However, these countries own about 3 percent of the global health care professionals. Most of the world’s population is said to be aging. This condition is forcing many health workers to specialize in providing health care services, thereby increasing the demand for specialized health care services in the world. However, many nations are not investing adequately in educating health care professionals. This has led to a decline in the provision of health care services in the world.
The WHO International Health Regulations Code aims at promoting the health security of the world population. Therefore, it is important for nations to have strong health care systems so that they can manage to improve the health care needs of the regions that are underserved. However, most nations often lack skilled, motivated, and well-supported health care workers. This state of affairs makes it difficult for these nations to provide vaccines and other health care services to their people in an effective way (Taylor, Hwenda, & Daulaire, 2011).
There are many countries that are working hard so as to ensure that they incorporate the Code into national law so that they can encourage health care workers can return to their home countries. Therefore, to ensure that health care workers return home, countries such as Kenya, Namibia, and Rwanda are monitoring and financing their health care systems so as to motivate health care professionals to bring their expertise home. In the case of high-income countries, Norway has incorporated the Code, which has then enabled it to scale up its education system. This has then made it possible for Norway to implement its own health care system. Norway has, therefore, refrained from hiring health care professionals who come from countries that experience a severe shortage of health care professionals.
It can therefore be observed that though the Code does not offer permanent solutions to the shortage and migration of health care professionals, it is true that adopting the Code has the ability to strengthen health care professionals, thereby enabling them to offer high-quality health care services to their home countries.
Taylor, A. L., Hwenda, L., & Daulaire, N. (2011). Stemming the Brain Drain-A WHO Global Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel. Web.