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Healthcare is changing. There are increasing numbers of people with multiple comorbidities, ageing populations, stark health inequalities and rising patient expectations about quality of care. As access to personal healthcare data, technological advances and changes to patients’ expectations as to how information is shared1 continue to develop rapidly, healthcare systems across the world are struggling to adapt.
There are also significant concerns about the ability of the global healthcare workforce to meet these demands. The potential impact of a health workforce crisis is greatest in emerging economies. However, there is a strong argument that more advanced economies also need to respond, both to the impact of economic austerity and to the combined problem of an ageing population and ageing health workforce. Buchan and Campbell suggest that as new models of care emerge this is both an opportunity for transformative thinking and a threat to the status quo.2 They argue that the aspiration for universal health coverage will not be achieved without a shared commitment to a transformative health workforce agenda across the globe. Across all countries and in all health systems there is “no health without a workforce”.
If healthcare is changing, education and training programmes need to adapt and change too, so that a future workforce can deliver high quality care in these new settings. In …