This article was written exclusively for The European Sting by Roshan Saiyara Nawal. Ms. Roshan Sayyaranawal is an undergraduate student from Bangladesh and currently Shaheed of Dhaka University He is her third year student of Suharawadi Medical College. She belongs to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), Sting’s wholehearted partner. The opinions expressed in this article strictly belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect her IFMSA views or European Her Sting views on the topic.
According to IBM, “Healthcare technology is any technology designed to support healthcare organizations, including medical devices, IT systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, and blockchain.” Merriam Webster also defines the workforce as “workers engaged in a particular activity or enterprise.” And here the gap in the general sense is called the labor force supply and demand gap in the healthcare sector.
World Health Organization – WHO recommends a doctor-to-population ratio of 1:1,000. According to WHO and other estimates from 2010 to 2020, the numbers of doctors in Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, the United States, and 33 other developed countries were 0.5, 2.8, 2.77, and 3 per 1,000 people, respectively. Therefore, there is a large workforce gap. Consider the number of doctors in the medical sector in developing countries like Bangladesh. Data for other healthcare workers imply about the same workforce gap.
Remarkable advances in information technology have the potential to transform healthcare service delivery to new heights. Healthcare workers and their services have come to the fore by taking personal risks to curb the spread of COVID-19, and new technologies such as telemedicine are being widely used. Today, patient diagnosis is improving. Organ transplantation has become commonplace. Robotic services in healthcare are improving. But the key question is what impact such improvements will have on future healthcare workers.
The integrated knowledge-based economy is rapidly changing the world. On the road to the 4th Industrial Revolution, a paradigm shift is expected in the global healthcare sector. Developed countries have labor force gaps due to demographic imbalances, and more people are dependent on talented people. It also affects healthcare. On the other hand, in some developing countries such as Bangladesh, the scenario is quite the opposite. Bangladesh enjoys a structural demographic bonus. However, there is a workforce gap in the health care sector due to low investment in health care in terms of services, facilities and medical education. The situation is even worse in the least developed countries.
According to the US National Health Expenditure Account, health care now accounts for nearly 18% of GDP spending. On the contrary, it is less than 1% in Bangladesh’s 21st fiscal year budget, (The Case for Building a Stronger Health Care System in Bangladesh, by MD RAFI HOSSAIN and SHAKIL AHMED, 2020, Poverty Eradication in South Asia and the World Bank). Announcement about) website blog).
Therefore, new and modern technologies have the potential to be best utilized in developed countries with labor shortages. However, over-reliance on new technologies as a substitute for an educated, trained and skilled workforce is not sustainable for closing the workforce gap in developing and least developed countries. Rather, some reliance on new technologies, along with increased investment in better healthcare personnel, services and facilities, will be more sustainable for them.
About the author
Rawshan Saiyara Nawal is an undergraduate student from Bangladesh and currently a third year student at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College, University of Dhaka. She is her local officer of the Standing Committee for Professional Exchanges (SCOPE). Nawal has excelled in her academic and extracurricular activities. She won merit scholarships in all public exams. She also received best performance awards at the district and departmental levels in cultural, writing and debate competitions. Her goal is to serve humanity. Therefore, she is involved in student humanitarian work.