healthcare

WHO meet discusses nuances of hiring foreign health workers-

June 10, 2021

A working paper on the Sultanate’s leading experience in dealing with the non-Omani health workers of various specialties was presented at the World Health Organization (WHO) tri-regional policy dialogue which seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals during the pandemic.

Presented by Dr Halima Qalam, Acting Director-General of Planning and Studies at the Ministry of Health (MoH), the paper highlighted the conditions of the health workforce in Oman during the Covid-19.

'Various nuances of employing the foreign health workers, and approaches towards them to make use of the skills and abilities of the workforce especially during the current health crisis were detailed at the conference,' a representative of the MoH said.

Representatives from the WHO said the virtual tri-regional policy dialogue was conducted to assess the joint efforts and to address challenges of international mobility of health professionals, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic and holds significance as 2021 marks the International Year of Health and Care Workers.

Representatives of ministries joined Dr Ahmed al Mandhari, Dr Hans Kluge and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Directors for the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe and South-east Asia, health professional regulatory bodies, UN agencies, development partners, and technical experts from the WHO regions and participants from around the world and across sectors of development, education, finance, migration and trade, during the two-day meeting to review trends and policy responses in the area.

'The current pandemic has highlighted the centrality of health workers for health security and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals,' sdaid Dr Ahmed al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

'Countries must invest in a sustainable national health workforce that meets the current and future needs of their populations. That means expanding and transforming the education, training, recruitment, development, distribution, retention and financing of the health workforce as well as improving working conditions and creating attractive jobs,' said Al Mandhari.

“Health and care is the largest employment sector in the WHO European Region, employing some 13 million people. This is one of the reasons why addressing health worker mobility is vital for the 53 member states we serve, said Hans Henri P Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

This unique event discussed challenges, opportunities, policy responses and innovations in WHO regions concerning international ethical recruitment, fair and effective employment and integration of foreign health workers, and approaches to harness the contribution of diaspora health workers.

According to the WHO and the MoH, the international mobility of health workers has been increasing. There is an estimated global shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030. Only through a strengthened management of mobility through improved information, policy and international cooperation, framed by the WHO Code on International Recruitment of Health Personnel, can we ensure that the mobility of health worker to the development of Healthcare services, it is learnt.

omanobserver

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