The Weight of the World
In 2015 the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that only half of the world’s population had access to appropriate health services. An essential element of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of “Universal Health Coverage” is having appropriate health workforce. This is outlined in SDG 3c which requires financing for ‘the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce’. In Australia the domestically trained health workforce is not sufficient for the growing population, and as such internationally trained graduates are recruited. This movement of health workforce toward higher income countries exacerbates global maldistribution, however policies prohibiting international recruitment pose an ethical dilemma. Additionally, recruitment of migrant health workers from lower income countries may not be effective if not paired with effective professional support, such as that provided in skilled migrant mentoring programs. Supporting healthcare workers to prevent workforce attenuation due those leaving the field is crucial to addressing health workforce shortages, alongside increased local training for reduced international migration and maldistribution.