At the UN, Gordon Brown promised more effort on health workforce

In his speech to the UN, Gordon Brown the new UK Prime Minister addressed the issue of health crisis and the shortages of health workforce. The corresponding news article by Emma Heard from Sky News, "one doctor for every 50,000 people", quotes Brown as saying: a radical overhaul of health care in Africa's poorest nations is part of the "emergency action" needed to "eradicate the great evils of our time".

Below is an excerpt of his speech:

"Weak health systems and insufficient doctors and nurses are also among the main obstacles to access to basic healthcare.

Take Malawi with 12 million people - and just 250 doctors -- one doctor for 50,000 people. And just 3800 nurses. For 20 million people in Mozambique, just 500 doctors and 4000 nurses. For 38 million people in Tanzania. Just 800 doctors and 3600 nurses.

So we should set a new objective - to match advances in drugs and treatments by advances in the capacity of healthcare systems to deliver.

Later this year we will launch a new initiative to better align finance from donors and from within countries themselves with comprehensive national health plans and provide more long term predictable financial support.

And in the next year I want the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation to have more power to use international finance to build health care systems for the future."

click for full speech