Post-COVID-19: can digital solutions lead to a more equitable global healthcare workforce?
Khan N., Gilliar W., Bamrah JS., Dave S.
An unintended consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the exponential growth of telemedicine, with automation of healthcare becoming more common. Face-to-face meetings and training events have been replaced relatively seamlessly with online versions, taking clinical or academic expertise to distant parts of the world and making them more accessible and affordable. The wide reach of digital platforms offering remote healthcare offers the opportunity of democratising access to high-quality healthcare, However, certain challenges remain: (a) clinical guidance developed in one geographical area may need adaptation for use in others; (b) regulatory mechanisms from one jurisdiction need to offer patient safety across other jurisdictions; (c) barriers created by disparity in technology infrastructure and the variation in pay for services across different economies, leading to brain drain and an inequitable workforce. The World Health Organization's Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel could offer the preliminary framework on which solutions to these challenges could be built.