Chronic diseases

English

Preparing a global healthcare workforce for the challenge of chronic conditions

Chronic conditions are increasing. The number of people affected by chronic non-communicable conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, is growing worldwide. Collectively, chronic conditions were responsible for 35 million – a full 60% – of all deaths in 2005. This is twice the number of deaths due to infectious diseases, poor maternal health and malnutrition combined. In addition to causing high death rates, chronic conditions account for almost half of the world’s disability.

Caring for people with chronic diseases: what should healthcare professionals know?

Much of the care given by healthcare providers around the world on a day-to-day basis can be described as ‘reactive’: people who think that they are ill present to a healthcare provider for a diagnosis and treatment. However, growing numbers of people with an established chronic disease need a different form of care, care that is structured and proactive. On a regular basis and following an agreed plan, they need to participate in regular review of their underlying chronic condition and its complications.

Managing chronic disease as a team - new models of care delivery

As the world’s population ages, the impact of chronic diseases will drive health systems around the world in two ways – adding significantly to the cost, and imposing considerable constraints on the already strained healthcare workforce. It is estimated that the health budgets of most developed nations will consume 20% of their gross domestic product by the 2020s. The most recent World Health Organization Health Workforce Report suggests shortfalls of some 4.3 million healthcare workers over the next decade – including nurses, doctors and health administrators.

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