Wednesday, March 29, 2006

World Health Day 2006: Working together for health

WHO | World Health Day 2006: Working together for health: " Health workers - the people who provide health care to those who need it - are the heart of health systems. But around the world, the health workforce is in crisis - a crisis to which no country is entirely immune. The results are evident: clinics with no health workers, hospitals that cannot recruit or keep key staff."
I am glad that the WHO is using the World Health Day to focus on the important role played by health workers in delivering healthcare services. However, I was very disappointed that they have not realised the important role played by patients in delivering healthcare services ! Patients are the largest untapped healthcare resource - and if we can empower them with information, we can dramatically change the face of healthcare services.
One of the reasons the healthcare industry is sick is that it is still very doctor ( or healthcare worker)-centric. This is a tragedy. This is a service industry, which should revolve around the patient, so that he can take better care of himself, and does not need to depend upon "healthcare workers" to take care of every minor ache and pain he gets. Unfortunately, we have medicalised health to such a large extent, that not only are most patients incapable of taking care of themselves, most doctors can no longer even recognise a healthy individual, because they are so used to dealing with ill patients all the time !
I do hope the next World Health Day will be about Putting Patients First !

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