Intended for healthcare professionals


WHO issues guidelines on retaining health workers in rural areas

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 14 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3774
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    The World Health Organization has published international guidelines to help countries retain doctors, and other health personnel, in rural areas, especially in poor nations, where acute shortages impede access to health care of millions of vulnerable people.

    WHO says that about half of the world’s population lives in rural areas but that these areas are served by only 24% of the world’s doctors.

    The situation is especially dire in 57 poor countries where a critical shortage of trained health workers means that “an estimated one billion people have no access to essential healthcare services.”

    But shortages are also common in rich countries such as the United States, …

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