WHO Guideline on Health Workforce Development, Attraction, Recruitment and Retention in Rural and Remote Areas
Securing equitable access to health services for rural and remote populations continues to be a challenge for governments and policymakers around the world. At the core of this complex challenge is a global shortage of well trained, skilled, motivated health workers. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated a shortfall of 18 million health workers to achieve universal health coverage by 2030, primarily in low- and middle-income settings. Shortages are often felt most acutely in rural, remote and hard-to-reach areas, where health workforce densities are generally lower than national averages. Even in settings where national shortages are not observed, issues of maldistribution can occur, leaving some populations behind. Rural populations, which tend to be poorer and less healthy, fall disproportionately into this category.