WHO's Roadmap for Strengthening European Health Workforce

CIO Review Europe | Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Through its small countries' initiative, WHO has formulated an agenda to ameliorate health and well-being by 2025

FREMONT CA: The pandemic has put our governments and health institutions to the test over the last two years. Furthermore, it has had multifarious effects on different countries: the issues encountered by countries with populations of 2 million or fewer are notably different from those confronted by countries with populations of 50 million or more. Small countries are currently facing inadequacy of medical personnel, unequal access to medications and vaccines, and a surge in non-communicable diseases and mental health issues. The suspension of tourism and mobility restrictions has also obstructed social and economic development, placing a substantial strain on domestic resources.

WHO/Europe has released a new roadmap outlining strategic measures for enhancing health and well-being in small countries by 2025, as part of its Small Countries Initiative.

The WHO European Region 2022–2025 roadmap for better health in small countries, which was developed with input from small countries, responds to their need to strengthen their strained health systems by laying out a series of actions to guide them in the years ahead in preparing for and responding to future health emergencies, as well as boosting complete health and well-being. 

The ultimate goal is to empower individuals to prioritize health and well-being on key political agendas, promote their needs at the regional and international levels, stimulate health investment, and track progress to guide future decisions. It emphasizes the importance of increased political, technical, and resource-related cooperation to transform primary health care, increase health-related human resources, ensure long-term sustainable health financing, and improve access to medicines, mental health services, and innovative digital health.

This Roadmap helps to rethink health across policy sectors, addressing issues including overcrowded health systems and health professionals. WHO Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge claims that it is a wonderful new resource that can help deliver the European Program of Work 2020–2025. Further continuing he also mentions that the Small Countries Initiative is well-positioned to assist the Member States in promoting health and well-being.

The Initiative is an active network of 11 small countries in the WHO European Region that serves as a forum for innovation, allowing members to work together to address issues that are particular to small countries. Given the impact of COVID-19 on small countries, in particular, the Initiative's focus has recently shifted to identifying the most urgent needs, as well as short-term priorities for action toward a fair recovery that leaves no one behind; acting on shared priorities concerning national health plans - using the European Program of Work as an overarching policy framework, and propagating good practice.

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