Health workforce: Physicians

As the world battles the Covid-19 / coronavirus pandemic, it is helpful to consider the global health workforce. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 15 physicians per 10,000 people, globally (April 2020). The map below shows the latest available data by country.

The largest number of physicians per 10,000 people are found in Cuba (82), Monaco (66), San Marino (61), Sweden (54), Austria (51), Georgia (51), and Uruguay (50). The countries with the smallest number of physicians by population, with the exception of Qatar, are in Africa: Malawi, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Tanzania, Chad, and Togo. A sharp increase of Covid-19 in Africa would be a huge challenge to the healthcare systems of these countries.

The table above shows data for the 30 largest countries in the world by population. Note the high number of physicians per 10,000 people in Europe, North America, and Latin America. Also, some countries in Asia record higher numbers, such as Japan (24) and South Korea (24). The ten largest countries in the world have much variation: China (18 physicians per 10,000 people), India (8), USA (26), Indonesia (4), Brazil (21), Pakistan (10), Nigeria (4), Bangladesh (5), Russia (40), and Mexico (22).

To explore the data in detail by country, see the World Bank.

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