Governments Must Invest In, Pay Community Health Workers, Last Mile Health CEO Writes
TIME: Community Health Workers Are Vital; Governments Should Be Paying Them
Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School
“…Community health workers save lives. … Community health workers also lower health care costs. … For every $1 a country invests in community health workers, $10 is returned to society. … In September, 15 countries made commitments to invest in community health workers. If this were scaled globally, 3 million deaths could be prevented each year. … But to realize this future of health for all, we must confront an injustice. … [M]ost community health workers remain unpaid. A recent World Health Organization report found that the poorest women in the world subsidize health care with their unpaid work to the tune of $1 trillion — a figure that’s larger than the economies of over 150 countries. As a doctor, I’m not expected to go without fair pay for my work, so why aren’t community health workers paid fairly for theirs? Now is the time to join arms … and demand our governments invest in community health workers…” (10/24).