Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Mike Rowson, University of London, United Kingdom

Note: The following is excerpted from a longer submission.

  • The equality of treatment recommendations are valuable and probably are most usefully addressed through this type of code, which encourages countries to raise standards in the way they treat migrant workers.
  • If the emphasis is to be on national self-sufficiency, why isn't WHO taking a more direct route (through country co-operation) to help countries with their planning? Why is the emphasis on developing a code of conduct?
  • There appears to be a lack of clarity about how the code will improve the situation in poorer countries. Is the code meant to help poor countries avoid aggressive hiring practices? Or to reduce the total number of health worker migrants from poor countries? Or just to say that richer countries must think about mutuality of benefits?

The solution is not to create ever tighter controls on migrants but to ensure that richer recruiting countries put something back (mutuality of benefits). This section of the code is very underdeveloped, and in any case should again be addressed by WHO lobbying rich countries directly to put back more resources.


Lela Shengelia, Healthy Caucasus, Tbilisi, Georgia

Note: The following is excerpted from a longer submission.

Our organization will be glad to work in collaboration with your organization and other countries to develop healthcare services all over the world.

  • • Despite high qualifications, not every country recognizes Georgia’s medical doctors and nurses’ diplomas. All post-Soviet countries are in the same situation, and we should focus our attention on the development of international standards for medical professionals in these countries.
  • • In Georgia, there are not any official data tracking unemployed doctors and nurses because the information system was created post-reform. It is important for us to create new databases, and we are ready to source funding and apply our own resources.
  • • Most important will be to organize training for health workers who are candidates for migration. Of course, the selection process will be based on international ethical standards. We should offer the candidates training from international specialists and also provide information about countries where they may work in future.

To achieve our goal it would be suitable to organize regional meetings and create a united regional information system, for instance between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.


World Bank's Africa Health Workforce Program

Note: This is from a longer submission that included additional comments on specific clauses that will be duly considered as the draft is revised.

Consider adding to Article 4 two new clauses along the following lines:

  • In countries listed by WHO as having critical shortages, recruiters should not actively recruit health workers by initiating contact. This specifically prohibits the active recruitment of workers on school premises and at government health facilities. Passive recruitment when health workers initiate contact is permitted.
  • Receiving countries are encouraged to honour the legal obligations health workers have made to their origin countries. Before providing a work visa or licensing a migrant health worker, national visa offices or licensing bodies in receiving countries should check with the sending country to determine if the worker has any outstanding bond time or educational loans. Receiving countries are encouraged to set up means by which migrant workers can pay off their bond time or educational loans.

4.5 There is concern about physicians retraining to be nurses to increase the likelihood of migration. This is an unfortunate brain waste but it is a personal choice and should not be restricted.

4.8 Why is this needed? Please justify it or remove it.


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Last update:

5 September 2014 10:13 CEST