Best Investment for a Healthier World

Government Leaders Must Act Now For Health Workers

Watch this video, then share it with global leaders. Tell them statements and stats about health workers are not enough—they must act now to support frontline health workers.

A minimum of 115,000 health workers have died from COVID-19, and many others have left the field of health care during the pandemic. 

We can expect more pandemics like COVID-19 in the future, yet health systems in many countries are still not prepared. This is a problem for all of us: viruses do not respect borders. Even before the pandemic the world was facing a massive shortage of health workers, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.

In this video, health workers and the Frontline Health Workers Coalition are asking US and global leaders to act now and not wait for the next pandemic to strengthen and protect the workforce.

You can help them. Use this social media toolkit and call on your policymakers to take bold action to better support and protect health workers.

  • Follow up to the United Nations General Assembly is key: During a world leader summit to address COVID on September 22, President Biden called for vaccinating 70% of the world. But, health workers are essential to administer COVID vaccines, before shipments expire, and to deliver urgent medical care. Many health workers are also unvaccinatedjust one in eight is fully vaccinated, the majority in richer nations. Follow up from this Summit, and plans for the next Summit in early 2022, must consider the needs of health workers now and into the future.
     
  • The International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings the week of October 11 are also important. IMF and World Bank leaders should call for bold investments in and policies for health workers around the world, and consider next steps for broad debt relief to allow countries fiscal space for health spending, including to train, hire, support, and equip frontline health workers to end the pandemic. Country finance leaders should use funds made available through IMF Special Drawing Rights to address the needs of the health workforce and health system weaknesses. 
     
  • October 30 is around the corner! We need to intensify our demands for action in the lead up to October 30, when the leaders of the G20 nations will gather in Rome for the G20 Summit and consider how to build more resilient health systems. They must agree to concrete actions to support the workforce while addressing inequity in the global COVID response.

What You Can Do to Help

  • Share this video widely on social mediacheck out our toolkit for tips.
  • Tweet our call to action, tagging your government leaders. Here are sample tweets:
    • Even before #COVID the world was facing a massive shortage of #HealthWorkers. We can expect more pandemics in the future, yet health systems in many countries are still not prepared. US & global leaders must #ActForHealthWorkers now & not wait any longer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iExOtdIzE4

    • World leaders must #ActForHealthWorkers now. They can't wait any longer. Share this video and tag your policymaker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iExOtdIzE4

  • Send this video to your members of Congress and members of Parliament, urging them to do more to support the health workforce.

5 Asks for Government Leaders Around the World

Our policy recommendations for COVID-19 call for immediate actions, including:

  1. End global COVID vaccine inequity and ensure all health workers are prioritized for vaccination; recruit and train the health workers needed to deliver the vaccine to all people
  2. Allocate funding to support immediate and long-term health systems and workforce strengthening.
  3. Ensure safe and decent work for all health workers, including community health workers. Make personal protective equipment available and provide fair and timely pay. 
  4. Address the barriers women health workers face, including in remuneration and leadership opportunities. 
  5. Ensure health workers have access to health care themselves, including mental health services.

How US Policymakers Must Act for Health Workers

To truly end the pandemic, the US must immediately address the pandemic at a global level. 

  1. President Biden should allocate a substantial portion of already-approved emergency COVID-19 funding to support frontline health workers in low- and middle-income countries, while taking urgent steps to address global vaccine inequity.
  2. The President should include funding to strengthen health systems and workforces in his FY 23 budget proposal, now being prepared.
  3. Congress should dedicate $100 million of FY22 funding to support frontline health workers in low- and middle-income countries through USAID’s Office of Health Systems. This should include support for health systems resilience, ensuring health workers’ safety and well-being, and providing the supplies and remuneration they need to do their work, taking into account the specific needs of women health workers.