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No disease group is as vast and complex in scope as the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Incorporating social determinants such as income and education, the NCDs call for an equally massive and comprehensive response
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Emigration of Skilled Healthcare Workers from Developing Countries: Can Team-based Healthcare Practice Fill the Gaps in Maternal, Newborn and Child Healthcare Delivery?

Yaw Owusu, PhD, Prerana Medakkar, MSc, Elizabeth M. Akinnawo, MBBS, Althea Stewart-Pyne, RN, BN, MHSc, Eta E. Ashu, PhD

Abstract


Background and Introduction: Emigration of healthcare workers from developing countries is on the rise and there is an urgent need for policies that increase access to and continuity of healthcare. In this commentary, we highlight some of the negative impacts of emigration on maternal and child health and discuss whether team-based healthcare delivery could possibly mitigate the shortfall of maternal and child health professionals in developing countries.

Methodology: We cross-examine the availability of supporting structures to implement team-based maternal and child healthcare delivery in developing countries. We briefly discuss three key supporting structures: culture of sharing, telecommunication, and inter-professional education. Supporting structures are examined at system, organizational and individual levels. We argue that the culture of sharing, limited barriers to inter-professional education and increasing access to telecommunication will be advantageous to implementing team-based healthcare delivery in developing countries.

Conclusion and Global Health Implications: Although most developing countries may have notable supporting structures to implement team-based healthcare delivery, the effectiveness of such models in terms of cost, time and infrastructure in resource limited settings is still to be evaluated. Hence, we call on usual stakeholders, government, regulatory colleges and professional associations in countries with longstanding emigration of maternal and child healthcare workers to invest in establishing comprehensive models needed to guide the development, implementation and evaluation of team-based maternal and child healthcare delivery.

Key words: Emigration • Skilled health workers • Developing countries • Maternal and child health • Newborn •Team-based health care

Copyright © 2017 Owusu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

 


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21106/ijma.204

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