Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers


In a global study by WISH, UK healthcare practitioners are also most doubtful of receiving mental health support in the future

Lack of focus on mental health support, along with mounting pressure on resources means that healthcare workers in the UK would be the least likely to embark on the same career path if they had to join their profession again now, a global survey has found.

Having borne the brunt of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from a healthcare perspective, only 35 per cent of practitioners in the UK would still train as healthcare professionals if joining the industry now, as opposed to 90 per cent in India, 85 per cent in Nigeria, and 76 per cent in Saudi Arabia.

The study by YouGov, on behalf of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), revealed that 59 per cent of healthcare workers in the UK said that a higher workload has been one of the biggest changes they have experienced since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This indicates one of the factors contributing to a lack of motivation for healthcare practitioners, with others linked to the UK ranking lowest globally when considering trends they predicted to be prevalent in their industry over the next five years:

  • Only 17 per cent thought that increased investment into research and development would be a trend, compared with those in India (60 per cent), Nigeria (57 per cent), Saudi Arabia (38 per cent), Brazil (33 per cent), and the US (25 per cent)
  • Only a quarter (25 per cent) highlighted the education and training of junior members of the team, compared with peers in Nigeria (57 per cent), India (53 per cent), and Saudi Arabia (46 per cent)
  • 41 per cent saw attention on mental health and diagnosis as a developing trend; less than peers in India (59 per cent), Brazil (54 per cent), and Saudi Arabia (52 per cent).

In addition, 70 per cent – the highest number recorded – thought that pressure on resources in the industry would remain a trend in the coming years. This was much higher than their colleagues in Brazil (27 per cent), Nigeria (28 per cent), India (31 per cent), Saudi Arabia (38 per cent) and the US (57 per cent).

“These findings point to the frailty of the UK’s health system and demand urgent corrective action through increased investment in workforce training and development, as well as a sharpened focus on mental health support and advocacy to ensure staff retention. The challenges highlighted mean that governments, policymakers, and industry leaders still have a lot to learn from the lessons of the ongoing pandemic. We urge them to accelerate efforts to address the concerns of healthcare practitioners and develop effective mechanisms to tackle the issues that are negatively impacting the national health system’s ability to keep communities protected against future health emergencies,” said Sultana Afdhal, CEO of WISH.

The survey, which included healthcare professionals from the UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, India, and Brazil, aimed to gain insights into the impacts of dealing with COVID-19 on healthcare workers’ lives, shine a light on their experiences, as well as explore what the future of healthcare might look like according to those serving on the frontline of care delivery.

WISH, a health initiative of the Qatar Foundation is a global platform which gathers healthcare experts, policymakers, and innovators to unite in the goal of building a healthier world. The biennial WISH Summit, taking place October 4-6 in Doha, Qatar and virtually, aims to showcase WISH’s evidence-based research and discuss how to translate these findings into practical, policy-driven solutions that help transform global healthcare delivery.

The sixth edition of the summit will run under the banner of “Healing the Future.” The summit will thoroughly explore the legacy of COVID-19 from various perspectives, including how to build more resilient and sustainable healthcare systems, improve our response to the mental health crisis faced by health and care workers, and harness the rapid progress in pharmaceutical innovation that has taken place during the pandemic.

For more information on WISH, visit

About the World Innovation Summit for Health

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is a global healthcare community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices. WISH is an initiative of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, its Chairperson.

The inaugural WISH Summit took place in Doha in 2013 and convened more than 1,000 global healthcare leaders. Through international summits and a range of ongoing initiatives, WISH is creating a global community of leading Innovators in healthcare policy, research, and industry.

Together, they are harnessing the power of innovation to overcome the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges and inspire other stakeholders to action.

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