Health workforce

WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel


Article 4 – Responsibilities, rights and recruitment practices

4.1 Health personnel, health professional organizations, professional councils and recruiters should seek to cooperate fully with regulators, national and local authorities in the interests of patients, health systems, and of society in general.

4.2 Recruiters and employers should, to the extent possible, be aware of and consider the outstanding legal responsibility of health personnel to the health system of their own country such as a fair and reasonable contract of service and not seek to recruit them. Health personnel should be open and transparent about any contractual obligations they may have.

4.3 Member States and other stakeholders should recognize that ethical international recruitment practices provide health personnel with the opportunity to assess the benefits and risks associated with employment positions and to make timely and informed decisions.

4.4 Member States should, to the extent possible under applicable laws, ensure that recruiters and employers observe fair and just recruitment and contractual practices in the employment of migrant health personnel and that migrant health personnel are not subject to illegal or fraudulent conduct. Migrant health personnel should be hired, promoted and remunerated based on objective criteria, such as levels of qualification, years of experience and degrees of professional responsibility on the basis of equality of treatment with the domestically trained health workforce. Recruiters and employers should provide migrant health personnel with relevant and accurate information about all health personnel positions that they are offered.

4.5 Member States should ensure that, subject to applicable laws, including relevant international legal instruments to which they are a party, migrant health personnel enjoy the same legal rights and responsibilities as the domestically trained health workforce in all terms of employment and conditions of work.

4.6 Member States and other stakeholders should take measures to ensure that migrant health personnel enjoy opportunities and incentives to strengthen their professional education, qualifications and career progression, on the basis of equal treatment with the domestically trained health workforce subject to applicable laws. All migrant health personnel should be offered appropriate induction and orientation programmes that enable them to operate safely and effectively within the health system of the destination country.

4.7 Recruiters and employers should understand that the Code applies equally to those recruited to work on a temporary or permanent basis.

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