The Americas Has A Shortfall Of 600,000 Health Professionals

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Geneva, Switzerland, May 27, 2022- The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Carissa F. Etienne, said today that the deficit in the health workforce in the Americas reaches 600,000 professionals, something that affects access to care, especially for those in rural and underserved areas of the region.

During the deliberations of the 2022-2030 Action Plan “Working for Health” at the 75th World Health Assembly, Etienne acknowledged “the enormous sacrifice and contribution of health workers in the Americas” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The unwavering resilience of our health workers is a testimony to their commitment to serve, save lives and ensure health for all,” she said.

The PAHO Director noted that during the peaks of the pandemic, “task shifting and task sharing saved lives,” and that “patient care delivery was facilitated by digital transformation.”

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In that regard, she commented that PAHO, through its Virtual Campus for Public Health, trained more than 900,000 health workers in the control and management of COVID-19, health services continuity, and vaccine deployment during the pandemic.

However, Etienne said, “we can no longer ignore long-standing deficiencies in health systems,” which impact the capacity of the health workforce to provide quality, uninterrupted care.

Among the deficiencies, Etienne cited the migration of health workers to urban centers or wealthier countries – exacerbating the gap-; lack of planning between the Education and Labor sectors; and insufficient emphasis on interprofessional and ongoing education.

Among the effects of COVID-19, a WHO study estimated that around 115,000 health workers died between January 2020 and May 2021 worldwide.

“Investing in health systems and a fit-for-purpose health workforce constitutes a priority for the Americas,” she remarked, adding that PAHO looks forward to working with Member States, partners and WHO in developing “a transformative agenda in human resources for health in the Americas.”

Source: Pan American Health Organization. Headline photo: Stock image

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. Before it gets worse, shall we ask the authorities to grab as many Cuban Health workers from the top to the least, pay them a good living wage, before the other competitors do so? the time is coming that the Global Epidemics-the worse is yet to come-that health workers will be at a premium. I suppose our top brass are busy working on Carnival, Bands, loud noises crowds etc.. Just can’t do without a jump up – such small minds, such an Elected Maskerade sorry to say. See after the Health Factor first(so the Heavens may see any goodness in you).

  2. And in the midst of such a health care crisis OKEUH ineffective management is functioning as a catalysts for the migration of Nurses. The Board at OKEUH is filled with termites.

  3. Now that we know of this red flag, what can we do? when we talk of ‘the Americas’ I guess we talk not only of our tiny line of rocks we call Islands, we may think of Central America with a vast amount of impoverished nation. Covid came as a thief in the night. everything turned upside out; but now that we know, shall we get started on a smart program or two? Tell PjP to see after the people first – Carnival is not a priority/Friday night likewise – will he listen? I think I know who can; for the sake of St. Lucia HE can.

  4. Meanwhile Cuba has an abundance of medical professionals. Yet we continue to lick the behind of the USA in not integrating them into CARICOM. Morons.


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