Task shifting in health care enables greater health care in resource-restricted contexts, particularly developing countries. This involves training local non-specialists to take on health care tasks, providing services that otherwise would not be available, and reducing the overburdening of health professionals.

It is key to many of the strategies described in Where There Is No Doctor.

This has applications in many areas, including:

  • Mental health (see the video below with Vikram Patel)
  • Health care in developed countries, where health care treatment still struggles in many areas, particularly lifestyle-related issues and mental health.

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