ISRRT on WHO Meeting: Addressing the shortfall of 18 million health workers

ISRRT represented at two important meetings linked to the World Health Assembly 2019 – Geneva, Switzerland

WHO HQ Geneva – Switzerland

Report of Stewart Whitley, ISRRT Director of Profesional Practice 

During the World Health assembly meeting 2019 Stewart Whitley, Director of Professional Practice represented ISRRT the following meetings: -

Addressing the shortfall of 18 million health workers – Tuesday 21st May 2019 Meeting of Non-State Actors (NGOs) – Wednesday 22nd May

Addressing the shortfall of 18 million health workers

This meeting to which an invitation was sent to Donna Newman, President of ISRRT, to attend was convened as part of The Call for Action Campaign to address the projected shortfall of 18 million health workers required to meet the goal of attaining universal health coverage by 2030, particularly in low and lower-middle income countries.

The meeting was organised by Jim Campbell, Director, Department of Health Workforce, World Health Organization and was attended by international health professional associations, health worker unions, youth organizations and delegates of the World Health Assembly to determine actions who were tasked to address the shortfall of 18 million health workers.

In the run up to the meeting and as part of the Call for Action Campaign organisations were invited to contribute by submitting to action plans to help serve to accelerate progress towards the 2020 global milestones for the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health:2030: Workforce 2030.

I am pleased to report that out of 43 complete submissions received the four that ISRRT submitted were approved and published.

The four submitted by ISRRT are titled: -

Promotion of a Reformed Service Model for Radiography – Introduction of a Four Tier Educated Radiographer Profession

Collaborate with ILO, WHO and OECD to ensure that ISCO-08 International Standard Classification of Occupations moves the Radiographers/Medical Radiation Technologists currently ranked at a Level 3 Technicians and Associate Professionals to a Level 2 Professional status to create economic growth and stability The ISRRT submits an action plan for the ISRRT to collaborate with other stakeholders to promote the ISRRT E-learning platform and established distance learning education programs from within our members societies that could be used to teach basic information for radiography programs and speciality training on specific subjects which can be used to elevate health care workers skill set as part of their continuous professional development (CPD).

The ISRRT submits an action plan for the ISRRT organisation to collaborate with other stakeholders to promote to its over 85 member countries and over 500,000 members an international campaign explaining the importance to countries of the necessity for a defined basic level of education in math and science in high school to ensure the future workforce has the correct base line education knowledge needed to successfully enter the field as a radiographer/radiological technologist.

To see all the submissions and specific details please see web link https://www.who.int/hrh/news/2019/call-to-action-addressing18million-health-worker-shortfall.pdf?ua=1

There is a lot to do with regards these actions and now that ISRRT has established links with this WHO department we will be working hard to adopt these actions.

Meeting of Non-State Actors (NGOs) – Wednesday 22nd May

This meeting was convened by Adriana Velazquez Berumen (pink jacket), Senior Advisor on Medical Devices and Maria Rosario Perez, Dr María del Rosario PEREZ, Scientist, radiation Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Represented at this meeting were a number of NGO organizations who’s remit covered medial devices and radiation protection. Due to the length of the WHA General Assembly a repeat meeting of those not able to attend was scheduled for the 27th May.

The WHO focal points for discussion which involved the NGOs included:

1. Nomenclature of medical devices

2. Essential in Vitro Diagnostics List

3. Priority medical devices for Cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes

4. Decommissioning and disinvestment of medical devices

5. Digital Health using Medical Devices

6. UHC (universal health coverage)

7. Cervical cancer work

8. Non-ionizing radiation

Progress on these topics were discussed as well as each organisations involvement in them, as well as ways in which the work involved can be supported, to accelerate development.

Valuable information was also shared regarding the different NGO organisations involvement in these projects and the potential for collaboration between organisations.

I volunteered that ISRRT should be involved in the consultation process of the draft ‘NON-IONIZING RADIATION PROTECTION AND SAFETY: BASIC CRITERIA’ framework document.

The draft will be discussed at the INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING ON NON-IONIZING RADIATION - 8th Meeting of the UV Programme and 24th Meeting of the International EMF Project on 28th May in Geneva.

Steps are in hand that ISRRT Ultrasound and MRI experts can respond and contribute to this regulatory framework.

Updated on these projects and other ISRRT work commitments to WHO will be reported.

Stewart Whitley, Director of Professional Practice. 29.5.2019