New WHPA strategy champions collaboration for sustainable health workforces

27 May 2024
PR 25

On the eve of the 77th World Health Assembly, WHPA launched its new strategy, calling for the health professions and key stakeholders to work together towards sustainable health workforces and strengthened health systems. The new strategy document will invigorate the WHPA’s role as the only alliance bringing the expertise and concerns of the key health professions to the international stage.

The strategy was launched at a reception celebrating the Alliance’s 25th anniversary, held in Geneva on 26 May 2024. Among the honoured guests were senior figures from UN agencies, major health and humanitarian NGOs, and other significant stakeholders.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was represented by Jim Campbell, Director of the Health Workforce Department. Addressing the guests from the floor, he congratulated WHPA on its quarter century and looked forward to further collaboration with WHPA, based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2022.

Leaders of the five WHPA member organizations addressed the gathering from the podium, highlighting achievements in the Alliance’s history and key points in the new strategy.

Dr Pamela Cipriano, President of ICN, said “Our new collective WHPA strategy continues the vision of cooperation and collaboration of our founders, carrying it forward into the second quarter of the 21st century. We believe that leadership is one of the core essentials that cuts across all of our strategic goals, to achieve the SDGs and reach the goals set by UHC2030.”

She was followed by Luís Lourenço, Vice President of FIP, who highlighted WHPA’s earlier ground-breaking collaborative work on counterfeit medicines, and also presented health systems strengthening as one of the new strategic goals. “At the heart of a strong health system lies a supported and collaborative health workforce. The WHPA, alongside our partners, advocates tirelessly for the pivotal role of health professions in this endeavour.”

FDI’s President, Greg Chadwick, in turn emphasized the Alliance’s work on NCDs and smoking cessation, cross-cutting health issues that can be more effectively addressed by the professions working together. “The Alliance's dedication to interprofessional collaboration was first formalized in a 2013 Statement on Interprofessional Collaboration, updated in 2023. This commitment is now a strategic goal in WHPA’s new plan, reflecting our unified approach to global health challenges,” he said.

For World Physiotherapy, President Mike Landry pointed out how WHPA’s Positive Practice Environments campaign, its largest and longest-lasting project to date, contributed to the third strategic goal in the new strategy: Building a sustainable health workforce. “At the heart of the campaign is a recognition of the interdependence between the working conditions of healthcare professionals and the quality of care they can provide. (…) Initiatives like this are not just about making life better for healthcare professionals; they're about ensuring better health outcomes for everyone.”

Finally, WMA President Lujain Alqodmani closed the presentations with a focus on ethics and human rights: “Values like equity, integrity and respect have always been central to WMA’s work, ensuring fairness and justice in all our work, and that we do what’s right and ethical according to our codes of practice. The WHPA’s new strategy shares these values, and adds a crucial one: unity, because we achieve more when we work together. I look forward to working with the rest of WHPA partners in implementing this ambitious plan.”

The evening served as a call to the global health community to join with health professionals to build sustainable health workforces and strengthened health systems where health professionals enjoy due recognition for their pivotal role.