Public hearing on the draft guidelines for monitoring the implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel
21 March to 17 April 2011
Fourteen organizations, associations and institutions participated in the public hearing.
Summary of comments received from organizations, associations and institutions
- The narrow scope of the implementation guidelines is limited to international migration without due consideration to the role such migration plays on the internal distribution of workers within the health system of a developing country. Similar concerns were also raised about the scope of health occupations being considered within the guidelines.
- Efforts to collaborate with other key players (such as the International Labour Organization) to broaden the definition of the term "health worker" should be pursued.
- While the guidelines initially focus on doctors, nurses and midwives within the minimum data set (MDS), the general guidelines also include provisions for expanding to other health care professionals in the future.
- The voluntary nature of the Code leaves it at risk of being ignored or diluted.
- Existing authorities should be favoured over new entities to ensure that monitoring of the implementation of the Code takes place in the broader context of human resources management.
- The Ministry of Health was often named as a potential national authority to be tasked with the reporting requirement, likely due to their ability to engage various stakeholders and their already ongoing activities in health human resources.
- The minimum requirements, licensing procedure and barriers to practicing in host countries for health providers trained abroad should be carefully examined in the context of the guidelines.
- The importance of budgetary difficulties and wages in exacerbating or mitigating the maldistribution of health workers between public and private sector employment should be taken into consideration.
- The WHO should examine the necessary measures involved in achieving health workforce self-sufficiency, notably through the retention of both domestic and foreign-trained providers.
- A benchmark indicator of 20% of Member States providing information for the MDS is too low. As a consequence, only a few Member States might take this reporting requirement seriously.
- The amount of information collected could be broadened to include data about salaries, working conditions and other variables to examine other potential factors that could contribute to the international migration of health personnel.
- To improve the reliability of statistics, it was suggested that the guidelines allow for a comparison of the number of domestic health professional graduates with domestic health workers.
Action for Global Health
The Aspen Institute
Dutch Human Resources for Health Alliance
European Forum of National Nursing and Midwifery Associations
French Red Cross
Global Health Workforce Alliance
Health and Social Care Associates
Human Resources for Primary Health Care in Africa
The Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers
Latvian Trade Union of Health and Social Care Employees
Medicus Mundi International Network
Valley Hospital, Kenya
The Network: Towards Unity for Health
The Philippines National Economic Development Authority