Planning to improve the quality and availability of health workers in the Americas

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Americas Health Corps (AHC), a new initiative to help train 500,000 public health professionals over the next five years, was introduced Monday at a side event of the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference.

AHC aims to fill gaps in quality and competence to meet priority needs, particularly in primary health care.

The initiative was presented to health ministers and other health officials by Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne and US Secretary of Health and Human Services social, Xavier Becerra.

Chronic underinvestment and sustained fragmentation of healthcare systems in the Americas have resulted in a deficit of between 600,000 and 2 million healthcare workers, a problem compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Without an adaptable, trained and fit-for-purpose health workforce, the Region of the Americas will remain highly vulnerable to the impact of public health emergencies,” said Dr Etienne.

Americas Health Corps aims to meet this challenge by increasing the availability of well-trained and skilled health workers; building future leadership in health governance and public administration; and ensuring private sector engagement in supporting health worker development.

It will also use the PAHO Virtual Campus to expand digital learning for public health in the Americas and support the creation of a consortium of academic centers in public health.

Americas Health Corps will build “strong, skilled health personnel who know the entire region and can be deployed to countries in times of crisis without encountering the bureaucratic and administrative hurdles that slowed the response when we saw COVID-19,” Xavier Becerra said.

The initiative will also facilitate the implementation of the Plan of Action on Health and Resilience in the Americas, which was adopted at the IX Summit of the Americas in June 2022.

This plan aims to expand equitable access to quality health services; strengthen training and education; increase public funding for health; improve emergency preparedness and accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Thanking health workers for their “unwavering resilience” during the pandemic, the PAHO director highlighted that countries in the region have saved lives by moving health workers to where they are needed most, by expanding the provision of telemedicine services and tripling hospital capacity. in some cases.

THE SOURCE: Pan American Health Organization/ SLT

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