Over 3,000 delegates from more than 140 nations are attending the three-day majestic event. focuses on the theme “Protect, safeguard and invest in health and care workforce”.
Dr. Ghebreyesus underscored the need to protect health workers, including through upholding their labor rights. He also encouraged countries to invest in decent working conditions for the sector, fair pay, and training and leadership.
The role of women must be addressed, he added, as they account for two-thirds of the health and care workforce.
“Too few women are in senior positions in the health sector, and there is a 24 per cent gender pay gap. The glass ceiling must be smashed,” he said.
He again stressed that the vision of attaining the highest possible level of health for all can only be achieved with an adequate and well-supported health workforce.
“The single largest cause of disrupted health services during the pandemic was the shortage of health workers. And the single largest barrier to delivering vaccines and other life-saving tools to combat Covid-19 was the shortage of health workers,” he said.
Investments in education, skills and decent jobs must be prioritized to meet the rapidly growing demand for care and avert a projected shortage of 10 million health workers by 2030, mainly in developing countries.