Women on the Move
The translation of the Women on the Move policy brief
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report and a policy brief addressing the issue of female migrant care workers. The goal of both the policy brief and report is to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring migrant workers – who in most cases are women – providing home-based care, are given a legal working status in the receiving country, accompanied by appropriate working conditions and access to health and social services. The project was initiated in 2017 at a meeting in Berlin supported by the Federal Ministry of Health.
The issue of women on the move is also part of WHO Health Workforce discussions and initiatives. Similarly, it is closely connected thematically with Nursing Now, a high-level campaign run by the International Council of Nurses and WHO. This campaign aims to improve the perception of nurses, enhance their influence and maximise their contributions in order to achieve better health care provision worldwide.
Considering the current debate around care provision and the lack of qualified personnel in Germany, a translation of the policy brief would be a valuable contribution to the discussion, highlighting the importance of legal protection and health insurance for the migrant care workers the German population increasingly relies upon. While Germany’s laudable contract regulations with care workers from the Philippines are often highlighted, with an ageing population the need for care workers is increasing. This means that new constructs will have to be developed at a larger scale.
Translating the policy aims to do the following
- Initiate discussions concerning this enormously important topic at the academic and political level
- Raise awareness in the respective ministerial resorts and bring together the required political stakeholders by pointing out that the topic “Women on the Move” and all it entails requires transdisciplinary collaboration also at ministerial level (Federal Ministry for Health; Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
- Demonstrate how the issue of migrant care workers and other migrant workers in the health workforce is linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (health, gender, human rights, access to health care, migration and migrant health, economic empowerment of women, to name but a few) and to thereby give politicalclout to the topic
- Encourage the collection of scientific evidence on migrant carers and the migrant health workforce at multiple levels; where are the gaps, what information is required in order to face the problem of skills shortage in health care provision as well as the problem of adequate care of migrants themselves working in the care sector; what can be done about the observed domino effect that German care workers move to Switzerland, Polish care workers fill the gaps in Germany and Ukrainian care workers then replace those in Poland
- Integrate the topic “Women on the Move” into the initiative Women in Global Health Germany as a gender-associated project, which shall be worked on by the network and its expertise.
Global Health Strategy of the German Government
What priorities should Germany set for global health policy in the future?
A new “Federal Government Strategy on Global Health” is currently being developed under the auspices of the BMG. In particular, it is intended to update the goals of Germany’s commitment and respond to new challenges such as global outbreaks of disease.. It is created with the collaboration of organizations from civil society, business, science, youth representatives and think tanks active in the field of global health policy. The Center for Global Health contributed to the position paper to set priorities for the new strategy that is to be adopted by the Federal Cabinet in the second half of 2019.
The sponsored partnership project between the Klinikum rechts der Isar in Munich, Germany and the University Hospital Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana was founded with the idea of improving surgical care in various regions of the country and the neighbouring countries Burkina Faso, Togo and Ivory Coast. The KATH has a central care point for northern Ghana and beyond.
Problem: The care of emergency patients in Ghana shows considerable deficiencies. Among other things, infections often occur after surgical interventions. The partner clinic has an emergency centre, but chronic underfinancing and inadequate maintenance of the equipment make it difficult to treat patients here as well.
Main activities: Surgeons of the KATH are given the opportunity to deepen their skills by sitting in at the German partner clinic. In addition to taking part in everyday clinical practice, their Ghanaian colleagues attend courses, seminars and electronic training courses at the Klinikum rechts der Isar. Further specialists are trained in Germany as well as in Ghana and subsequently deployed as multipliers. The German and Ghanaian colleagues continuously exchange their experiences from everyday hospital life via video and telephone conferences.
Short-term effect: KATH colleagues learn new surgical techniques and successfully implement them on site.
Long-term effect: The exchange of experience and close networking of surgeons from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana (KATH) with surgeons from the Klinikum rechts der Isar in Munich (MRI) leads to an improvement in surgical care in the Ashanti region, northern Ghana and the neighbouring countries Burkina Faso, Togo and Ivory Coast.
Prof. Dr. Clarissa was invited by CDU/CSU as a member of the panel to discuss the global health activities and strategies in Germany.