WHA72 - UHC – Community health workers delivering primary health care: opportunities and challenges

WHA72 - UHC – Community health workers delivering primary health care: opportunities and challenges

Agenda item 11.5

I am speaking on behalf of FDI the World Dental Federation, supported by the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), representing over 31 million nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists, and physicians in over 130 countries.

WHPA encourages the adoption of the Resolution by the Assembly and would like to stress that regulated health professionals play a critical role in achieving UHC.

We invite Member States to join us on Thursday, 23 May for a WHO technical seminar, Investing in Jobs and Health for All: The role of health care professional associations. The seminar will discuss and showcase efforts to address the 18 million healthcare workers shortfall.

We urge countries to take note of the Secretariat’s report (EB144/13) presented at the Executive Board, which stated that CBWs should not be used as a cheaper replacement for regulated health professionals (Clause 13). The workforce should be educated in terms of the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to adequately respond to patient health needs. Regulated health professionals are bound by ethical frameworks and have a scope of practice designed around complex patient needs. 

WHPA offers assistance in strengthening the relevance, effectiveness and implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel (EB144.R4 Clause 2.(3)). WHPA’s Positive Practice Environment (PPE) kit details the key characteristics of PPEs for HPs and guidelines for providing incentives for them. 

We also offer our assistance in contributing to the implementation of WHO guidelines on health policy and system support to optimize CBW programmes (EB144.R4 Clause 3). HPs are logical key partners in the application of such guidelines as they work alongside and, in some cases, supervise unregulated workers.

WHPA reiterates its offer to assist the WHO and Member States in efforts to effectively incorporate unregulated health workers into health systems.