Workforce capacity for the care of patients with kidney failure across world countries and regions

Parnian Riaz, Fergus J Caskey, Aminu Bello*, et al.

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: An effective workforce is essential for optimal care of all forms of chronic diseases. The objective of this study was to assess workforce capacity for kidney failure (KF) care across world countries and regions.

Methods: Data were collected from published online sources and a survey was administered online to key stakeholders. All country-level data were analyzed by ISN region and World Bank income classification.

Results: The general healthcare workforce varies by income level: high-income countries have more healthcare workers per 10,000 population (physicians: 30.3; nursing personnel: 79.2; pharmacists: 7.2; surgeons: 3.5) than low-income countries (physicians: 0.9; nursing personnel: 5.0; pharmacists: 0.1; surgeons: 0.03). A total of 160 countries responded to survey questions pertaining to the workforce for the management of patients with kidney failure. The physicians primarily responsible for providing care to kidney failure patients are nephrologists in 92% of countries. Global nephrologist density is 10.0 per million population (pmp) and nephrology trainee density is 1.4 pmp. High-income countries reported the highest densities of nephrologists and nephrology trainees (23.2 pmp and 3.8 pmp, respectively), whereas low-income countries reported the lowest densities (0.2 pmp and 0.1 pmp, respectively). Low-income countries were most likely to report shortages of all types of healthcare providers, including nephrologists, surgeons, radiologists and nurses.

Conclusions: Results from this global survey demonstrate critical shortages in workforce capacity to care for patients with kidney failure across world countries and regions. National and international policies will be required to build a workforce capacity that can effectively address the growing burden of kidney failure and deliver optimal care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere004014
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Workforce capacity for the care of patients with kidney failure across world countries and regions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this