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Indian health system “on the brink of a workforce crisis” warns KMPG leading health expert

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An estimated global shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, overcoming health worker deficit and looming staffing crisis presents biggest challenge for global healthcare

India will need over 2.5 million qualified health workers by 2030 if it is to avert a national disaster, Dr Mark Britnell, Global Chairman for Healthcare, KPMG has warned.

“With an estimated global shortfall of 18 million health workers by 2030, overcoming the health worker deficit and looming staffing crisis presents the single biggest challenge for global healthcare during the next decade,” said Britnell at the India launch of his new book Human: Solving the Global Workforce Crisis in Healthcare in Hyderabad.

“In India, where there are currently fewer than 2.1 million qualified healthcare professionals and a projected 4.6 million needed to meet demand, this crisis will be particularly acute and will have devastating consequences if swift action is not taken,” stated the author.

Healthcare is one of the largest sectors and employers in the world, worth over $9 trillion globally and consuming an average 10 per cent of a country’s GDP. However, according to Britnell, it simply does not have enough staff to care for patients anymore and if we ignore the problem we will soon be engulfed in a workforce crisis with severe implications on a global scale.

Britnell, who has dedicated his entire professional life to improving healthcare all over the world, told delegates at the International Conference of Revolutionising Healthcare with IT that the looming workforce crisis should be ‘a massive wake up call to all’ and presented them with the all-important question: How will we provide adequate healthcare for 1.3 billion people in India by 2030?

“Humans need to master the technological and digital potential offered through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This book makes a compelling case for doing so,” commented Sangita Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals.

Britnell commented, “The short-term fix of simply addressing headcount is too simple and short-sighted – seismic changes are needed across healthcare to avert this impending disaster. If we go about this the right way I believe we can grow the capacity to care by as much as 20 per cent to meet the anticipated staff shortfall.”

“By reframing the productivity debate, reimagining clinical services, changing national investment strategies, empowering patients and harnessing the power of technology and AI we can avoid the inevitably bleak future we face if we carry on as we are,” he concluded.

Human is the first and only book to boldly offer concrete and actionable solutions to navigate the widely anticipated crisis. It comprehensively examines how this issue is currently being experienced across some of the world’s leading health systems and how they are likely to be impacted in the future, while boldly offering 10 solutions to help tackle the deficit.

Following the success of Britnell’s award-winning debut book In Search of the Perfect Health System, which sold in 109 countries, Human shines a much-needed spotlight on a fundamental global issue, and is a must read for anybody who cares about the future of health around the world.

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