Marcy TaylorEnglish 3Sherry O’Sullivan25 January 2018 Keeping the people of this world healthy is the main focus of healthcare providers. People everywhere, even in developing countries, go to a doctors office or local hospital to receive medical assistance and treatment. What would happen if there were no more healthcare workers to work in hospital or save the lives of those who need it most? The number of healthcare providers across the world is slowly decreasing. In about twenty years, there will be an estimated twelve point nine million loss of healthcare providers. The lack of healthcare providers is an issue because of migration, population increase and high rates of attrition. One of the main reasons for the lack of healthcare providers across the world is because of the migration of these workers. Nurses and doctors in developing countries are deciding to leave their countries for more opportunity. Many countries have more advanced medical services, especially with the improving technology. According to Naiker, Plange-Rhule, Tutt and Eastwood, “There are 57 countries with a critical shortage of healthcare workers, a deficit of 2.4 million doctors and nurses.” Many of the countries mentioned are third-world countries, mainly Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. “Africa has 2.3 healthcare workers per 1000 population, compared with the Americas, which have 24.8 healthcare workers per 1000 population.” (Naicker). That is not enough workers to meet the needs of the people living in Africa. This shortage is crucial to the survival of many people. One reason why there are not as many healthcare providers in Africa is because there is not a lot of medical schools available to them. In Africa, there is one or two medical schools per country, and some countries do not even have medical schools. It is a big commitment and a lot of money for a person living in Africa to travel to a big city and attend medical school (Naicker). Going to medical school is a commitment, and that is why a lot of people decide to go into other fields, much more easier ones. Many nurses and doctors move to English speaking countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. In these countries, there are many well structured medical programs, and there is also financial stability available to those who have medical professions. One of the reasons that nurses decide to leave the field is because of the pay. Nurses work long hours, and they do not think they get paid enough for the hours they work. “Migration of doctors to the United Kingdom (UK) reached a peak in 2003 when 18,701 doctors were newly registered with the General Medical Council; 13,967 (74.7%) were from outside the United Kingdom” (Naicker). With countries such as Africa and the Philippines, there is already a shortage in health supplies and with the shortage of healthcare providers adding on to that, it is affecting the lives of those who need the attention. Another reason for the shortage in healthcare providers is because of the population increase. With a growing population, it is important for the workers to be trained and advanced enough to treat the people. Diseases and medicine is constantly changing with the environment. “the current rate of training of new health professionals is falling well below current and projected demand. The result will be that in the future, the sick will find it even harder to get the essential services they need and preventive services will suffer” (Global). Another reason there are less nurses in the medical field is because of the long hours of work and the low pay that goes with it. Medical school enrollment in the United States has also decreased over the years. Between 2002 and 2012, there was a twenty-one percent increase. Over the past five years, there has only been a five percent increase, which is significantly lower than what was projected (Institute). A shortage in nurses could lead to problems within the hospital due to lack of communication, and not enough “general physicians.” The people that go into college nowadays go to college and study for a certain specialty such as dermatology, neurosurgery, orthopedics or cardiovascular. There are even smaller specialties such as doctors who just focus on feet for children. When doctors study these specialties, they do not get the minimum education required to to diagnose on other parts of the body. “Generation X individuals see fewer patients. They typically place a greater premium on lifestyle factors than their older counterparts, so that would decrease the amount of supply” and “According to a 2005 survey of surgical residents, over 50 percent planned on pursuing subspecialty training, and only 15 percent planned on entering the workforce as a general surgeon” are mentioned in the reading to show how not enough general surgeons are in the medical field (Institute). The students that go into school wanting to learn a certain specialty as their profession, and after a couple years of doing that job, they burn out on it and get tired of it. There are very few doctors that can diagnose many things on patients as a general surgeon can, and that is why more doctors are needed. Many people do not choose to go into the profession of medicine because of the number of years it takes to go through medical school. To become a nurse, a person must go to school (college) for at least five years. To become a licensed physician, a person must go to school for ten to sixteen years (Institute). That is why people decide to go into other professions. Another reason there is not enough workers in the medical field across the world is because of attrition. “By 2025 there will be a shortage of between 124,000 and 160,000 full-time physicians, after considering a variety of scenarios for future supply and demand” (Institute). As the workforce is getting older, people are starting to retire. As people retire, not enough medical personel is coming in, leading to a shortage in medical staff. Even with the ones retiring, the workers above the age of sixty-five and still working are struggling themselves. It has been thirty plus years since they were out of school, and with the new technological advances, it is harder for them to adapt to the changes. They spent years and years diagnosing and seeing patients using the technology they had then, and with the new technology being used now, it is like they are having to learn how to use it all over again. Not only is this time consuming, but it can also lead to more medical errors. According to the University of Phoenix, medical errors is the third leading cause of death in America (Nelson). Many people do not think of things like this when they walk into a hospital, but medical errors do happen. “Between 2000 and 2030, the number of people in the United States over the age of 65 is expected to double. This elderly population makes twice as many physician visits as those under 65, and the incidence of cancer is far higher for the elderly than younger age groups” (Institute). Not only to older people working in the medical field have to learn how to use the technology, but they also have to constantly learn about the medicine being used. Medicine, diseases and illness is constantly changing. Old Illnesses need new medicine to cure it, and new illnesses are being found and formed everyday. Surgery techniques also change. As new surgeons come in to treat patients, the old surgeons have to figure out what they are doing because it affects how they do their work also. In a book titled, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, he talks about his struggles as an older generation surgeon dealing with the new technological advances in the medical field. He talks about how he cannot catch up with the new generation of doctors, and ends up falling behind in his profession (Gawande). As doctors, moving around and standing takes up a great portion of the job. As doctors and nurses get older, there is less things they can do. It is good that a new generation of doctors is coming in, but we are losing a great number of doctors due to attrition. In conclusion, the loss of doctors through migration, a growing population and attrition is hurting out medical field today, and in out future. We rely on doctors and nurses to keep people healthy, and without them will lead to serious problems. Disease will spread, people will die due to medical errors and so much more. Medical providers are needed everyday in third world countries such as countries in Africa, the philippines and countries in Asia. With countries like those already lacking medical facilities and medical supplies, the lack of actual workers to be there and operate is crucial to the survival of their people. Even with the workers that are there, some of them decide to move to other countries for more opportunity. Not only is the loss of medical providers loss through migration, but also through the growing population. The human population is growing everyday, and new diseases and medical procedures are being introduced everyday. With doctors studying certain specialties rather than a general knowledge, it calls for more doctors than needed. As the population grows, the amount of medical workers is falling. Older generations are retiring and not enough young people are coming into the tough field of medicine. The older generation in the medical field at the moment are falling behind with the standards the new generation is bringing in. technological advances are hindering the knowledge of the older generation, and for the older generation, it is almost like going to school again. The medical field all across the world is in need of a complete and educated workforce. Without them, no one knows where our world would be today.