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This indicator is a proxy for the availability of health care. It represents the percentage of the population without access to health care due to the absence of the health workforce. The threshold for having a sufficient health workforce is 41.1 health workers per 10 000 population. A higher figure indicates worse availability. Note that this indicator reflects the supply side of availability, in this case the availability of human resources is at a level that guarantees at least basic, but universal, access. To estimate access to the services of skilled medical professionals (physicians, nursing and midwifery personnel), it uses as a proxy the relative difference between the density of these health workers in a given country (number per 10 000 population) and its median value in countries with a low level of vulnerability (defined according to the structure of employment and levels of poverty).To establish whether a country is spending 'enough' or has 'enough' key health workers, it is necessary first to define what constitutes 'enough', i.e. set a threshold against which a country's performance can be compared. Opinions differ on what constitutes 'enough' in these contexts, not least because it is likely to be a moving target, influenced by prevailing health issues, demography etc. The ILO's approach for measuring financial deficit is to: (i) calculate the median expenditure on health (excluding OOP) in low-vulnerability countries, then (ii) for each country, compare spending against this median. In 2014, the median in low-vulnerability countries was US$239. For example, a country spending 50% less than the median in low-vulnerability countries has a financial deficit of 50%. The same principle applies to the staff access deficit indicator, for which the 2014 median in low-vulnerability countries was 41.1. This is one of five indicators measuring key dimensions of deficits in health care access and coverage. For analytical purposes the full set of indicators should be considered together.
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