Do you have thoughts on compassion to share? (3)

10 July, 2018

We cannot expect health workers to be compassionate if they are disempowered to fulfil the work for which they are trained, whether through lack of skills, equipment, information, systems support, medicines, incentives (including a decent salary), and communication facilities (SEISMIC needs).

Meeting the basic needs of health workers is a prerequisite for compassionate care. We hear a lot about people-centred care and services, but care should of course be both people-centred *and* health-worker-centred.

To paraphrase Lincoln Chen et al (2004):

“The only route to reaching the Health SDGs is through the health worker: there are no shortcuts”

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (, which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: