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The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates a projected shortfall of 10 million health workers by 2030, mostly in low and lower-middle income countries.

The reasons behind this deficit are – as you might expect – complex, but its central pillars are: continuing chronic under-investment in education and training of health workers in many countries; a discrepancy between education and employment policies in relation to individual healthcare systems and population needs; difficulties in deploying health workers to remote and underserved areas; and the increasing international migration of health workers away from low and lower-middle income countries. 

According to the WHO, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East will shoulder an increasing burden of workforce shortages, and projected shortfall figures are yet to take into account the impact of the pandemic on global healthcare systems.

Taking education as arguably the central issue in this deeply multifaceted international challenge provides a good lens through which we can view the problem.

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