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Healthcare Workforce

Striving to meet cancer workforce requirements globally

ESMO’s mission is to promote and defend the profession and practice of medical oncology. For optimal cancer treatment ESMO supports the development of an adequate, well-trained oncology workforce. The freely available ESMO Global Curriculum in Medical Oncology, ESMO’s educational offer, and its Fellowship Program are several ESMO resources that can support countries in both the training and continuing medical education of medical oncologists.

Globally, the demand for cancer services is significant and expected to continue increasing with ageing of populations. With 1 in 5 people expected to develop cancer during their lifetime, optimising workforce is a must. The 2017 Cancer Resolution, that ESMO is supporting to implement via joined multiannual workplans, mandated the WHO to develop tools to support governments to strengthen the health workforce and health system capacity for cancer with one key deliverable being the optimisation of current workforce and anticipation of future requirements. To this end, ESMO supports the development and implementation of the WHO Health Workforce Optimization for Cancer Care tool.

Recent health emergencies, such as the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, forced oncology professionals to face both unprecedented personal and professional challenges. The pandemic showed the reality of an inadequate number of health and care workers, who served above and beyond their normal workload, leading to burnouts. ESMO recognises that the well-being of oncology workforce is essential to ensure the delivery of the best care to patients with cancer, and provides continued support to its members around the world.

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