WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel
Article 5 – Health workforce development and health systems sustainability
5.1 In accordance with the guiding principle as stated in Article 3 of this Code, the health systems of both source and destination countries should derive benefits from the international migration of health personnel. Destination countries are encouraged to collaborate with source countries to sustain and promote health human resource development and training as appropriate. Member States should discourage active recruitment of health personnel from developing countries facing critical shortages of health workers.
5.2 Member States should use this Code as a guide when entering into bilateral, and/or regional and/or multilateral arrangements, to promote international cooperation and coordination on international recruitment of health personnel. Such arrangements should take into account the needs of developing countries and countries with economies in transition through the adoption of appropriate measures. Such measures may include the provision of effective and appropriate technical assistance, support for health personnel retention, social and professional recognition of health personnel, support for training in source countries that is appropriate for the disease profile of such countries, twinning of health facilities, support for capacity building in the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks, access to specialized training, technology and skills transfers, and the support of return migration, whether temporary or permanent.
5.3 Member States should recognize the value both to their health systems and to health personnel themselves of professional exchanges between countries and of opportunities to work and train abroad. Member States in both source and destination countries should encourage and support health personnel to utilize work experience gained abroad for the benefit of their home country.
5.4 As the health workforce is central to sustainable health systems, Member States should take effective measures to educate, retain and sustain a health workforce that is appropriate for the specific conditions of each country, including areas of greatest need, and is built upon an evidence-based health workforce plan. All Member States should strive to meet their health personnel needs with their own human resources for health, as far as possible.
5.5 Member States should consider strengthening educational institutions to scale up the training of health personnel and developing innovative curricula to address current health needs. Member States should undertake steps to ensure that appropriate training takes place in the public and private sectors.
5.6 Member States should consider adopting and implementing effective measures aimed at strengthening health systems, continuous monitoring of the health labour market, and coordination among all stakeholders in order to develop and retain a sustainable health workforce responsive to their population’s health needs. Member States should adopt a multisectoral approach to addressing these issues in national health and development policies.
5.7 Member States should consider adopting measures to address the geographical maldistribution of health workers and to support their retention in underserved areas, such as through the application of education measures, financial incentives, regulatory measures, social and professional support.