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Collaboration on priority health workforce issues as well as universal health coverage, noncommunicable diseases and ageing populations has been cemented with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the World Health Organization and the five members of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA), including FIP, in Geneva, Switzerland, today. The new MoU reflects the importance of investing in the health workforce through a multi-stakeholder integrated approach. It provides a framework for joint action and will also contribute to reinforcing national and regional health systems and services. “There is no health without health workers,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “With this MoU, WHPA and WHO will support healthcare professional associations and governments to protect and invest in the multi-disciplinary teams of health workers needed to deliver essential health services and prevent and respond to emergencies.”
Enzo Bondioni, WHPA chair and executive director of FDI World Dental Federation, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that today’s public health problems cannot be solved by one country or one organization or one profession by itself. Through collaboration between stakeholders we can tackle interlinked global health challenges by taking joint action to protect and strengthen the health workforce and make progress towards universal health coverage.” The five members of the WHPA are: FIP, FDI World Dental Federation, the International Council of Nurses, World Physiotherapy, and the World Medical Association.
FIP president Dominique Jordan was present at the signing ceremony in Geneva. “We believe this historic MoU will take us a long way together along the path towards universal health coverage and health security for all our populations,” he said. Mr Jordan also delivered a statement at the meeting, highlighting the challenges brought about by global health workforce migration. “Mechanisms for the strengthening of health systems are urgently needed in both developing and developed countries to improve the recruitment, education and retention of these valuable human resources,” he said.