The World Health Organization (WHO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the five members of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA): FDI World Dental Federation (FDI), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), International Council of Nurses (ICN), World Physiotherapy, and World Medical Association (WMA). Together these five organizations represent more than 41 million health professionals worldwide and assemble essential knowledge and experience from the key health professions in more than 130 countries.
The new memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed on 8 November 2022, represents an historic event, bringing together the five global organisations representing the world’s dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and physicians with WHO to enhance their joint collaboration on protecting and investing in the health workforce to provide safe, quality and equitable care in all settings.
The MoU reflects the importance of investing in the health workforce through a multi-stakeholder integrated approach. It provides a framework for joint action between the five organisations and the WHO, to tackle the interlinked challenges of improving people’s health, diagnosing, and treating ill health and responding to health and other emergencies. They specifically commit to collaboration on health workforce issues and universal health coverage, noncommunicable diseases, and ageing populations. The framework will also contribute to reinforcing national and regional health systems and services.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “There is no health without health workers. With this MoU, WHPA and WHO will assist health care professional associations and governments in protecting, safeguarding and investing in the multi-disciplinary teams of health workers needed to deliver essential health services and prevent and respond to emergencies.”
Emma Stokes, World Physiotherapy president, said: “Signing this MoU is a culmination of many years of each organisation working individually with WHO and collectively as WHPA. This group of five global organisations representing key health professions is stronger together as the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.”