Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has called for increased investments in the health workforce as part of a concerted efforts in the fight for a Universal Health Coverage.“As the WHO Health Workforce Ambassador, I urge us all to call for increased investments in the health workforce and to take action on our Declaration beyond the General Assembly. It is the fair thing to do. It is the right thing to do.” Said former president Sirleaf.
Speaking at a side event of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, former President Sirleaf who is also the WHO Health Workforce Ambassador said there is a need to invest in frontline and community health workers and the primary health care that support them as part of efforts in meeting the Universal Health Coverage agenda. Mrs. Sirleaf acknowledges that such move requires long term innovative, financial instruments that cover high capital cost but also the political will of governments.
“One way to do this is to engage the International Financing Institutions and philanthropic foundations as key partners to co-invest, alongside governments, in the education and employment of health workers,”Mrs. Sirleaf said.She, was however, quick to remind the audience that discussions at the meeting would be a starting point, toward the attainment of Universal Health Care through investment in the health education sector.
Mrs. Sirleaf thanked the co-hosts for taking the initiatives and said she was encouraged to see the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and Silatech being part of the conversation aimed at achieving global health coverage Former President Sirleaf also reminded her audience about prediction that the world would be short of 18 million necessary health workers by 2030. According to her, this figure could translate into the world missing out on 18 million opportunities for economic empowerment and dignified employment.