Statement on behalf of Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway. Performed by Iceland.
Thank you Chair, I make this intervention on behalf of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Iceland.
We thank the Secretariat for its report, and the Expert Advisory Group for its review of the relevance and effectiveness of the Code.
Global demographic, economic and epidemiological trends continue to drive shortages and maldistributions of health workers. Many countries have great problems retaining the health workers they educate. The situation in some countries is acute, and projections show that it is getting worse.
Furthermore, our efforts to achieve universal health coverage and resilient health systems rely on having enough qualified personnel. Outbreaks of diseases like ebola, the spread of antimicrobial resistance, the increase in non-communicable diseases, and alleviating the burden of communicable diseases are all examples of global challenges where educated personnel are key to the solution.
We therefore fully support the recommendations put forward by the EAG, and we support the decision point.
Member States and WHO must do what they can in order to implement the Code and increase the number of countries reporting in the second round. We need strengthened mechanisms in order to assist Member States in doing this. Special attention and priority should be given to the countries with the largest gaps in health worker coverage.
The Code is as relevant now as it was at the time of its adoption five years ago. Being adopted by the World Health Assembly, it represents a global consensus. That gives it significant legitimacy as an instrument of advocacy and raising awareness. We are therefore pleased to see that the EAG recommends that the Code become an integral part of the larger HRH strategy to be developed next year.
The recommendation that the next review of relevance and effectiveness should be made in conjunction with the third round of national reporting is also pertinent. While we do see signs of improving policies and governance at national and regional level, there is still a long way to go. The Code is an instrument designed for the longer term, and we should not conclude on its effectiveness yet.
Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing the results of the second round of reporting, and the development of the HRH strategy. The monitoring and accountability processes to be agreed for the strategy will provide opportunities for also strengthening monitoring and reporting of the Code.
Finally, we would like our countries to be on the list of cosponsors to this decision point.
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs