Strengthening the region’s anaesthesia workforce through national policies which address chronic underinvestment and professional wellbeing is vital to enable an effective response to COVID-19 and beyond.
Agenda Item 10: COVID-19
The statement made was by Dr Wayne Morriss President-elect of WFSA.
The World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA) commends WHO’s efforts in the Western Pacific Region to support Member States to:
- Manage COVID-19 patients;
- Continue other essential services.
Throughout the region, anaesthesiologists have been playing a vital role in the management of COVID-19 patients in emergency rooms, operating theatres and intensive care units. At the same time, they are continuing to provide emergency and essential care for non-COVID patients.
In some countries, there has been historical under-investment in anaesthesia services and anaesthesiologists are being asked to do more and more, despite a lack of resourcing. This increased workload is having a negative effect on well-being, resulting in increased clinician burnout and reduced quality of care.
WFSA call on Member States in the Western Pacific Region to address three specific areas:
- Workforce: Many countries in the region have very low numbers of trained anaesthesia professionals. Workforce deficiencies should be addressed through the provision of appropriate training.
- Resourcing: WFSA supports the development of National Surgical, Obstetric and Anaesthesia Plans (NSOAPs) and calls on Member States to embed adequate resourcing of anaesthesia in national health plans.
- Professional well-being: To reduce clinician burnout, we call on Member States to prioritise well-being initiatives.