Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Fiona M Campbell, Merlin, London, United Kingdom

Merlin welcomes WHO’s initiative in this area and has the following points to make (excerpted):

  • The language used is legalistic in nature and often difficult to understand.
  • The code is very general in its requests and it is unclear what impact it will have without more specific outcomes being targeted.
  • Suggest referencing other relevant codes and how this code is aligned with them.
  • The voluntary nature of the code impacts its implementation, the implications of which need to be clarified.
  • Consider further the exact nature and role of the designated national authority responsible for the exchange of information regarding health worker migration, and how it will be funded.
  • All Member States have a sovereign right to develop and strengthen their health systems (3.2), but we would argue that this is also a “duty”.
  • Emphasize the need for building human resource capacity as early as possible in all countries, ensuring retention of these trained staff. This is true for fragile states as well as more stable countries.

Ministry of Health, Brazil

Excerpts of the comments:

From Brazil's Ministry of Health point of view, although inevitably limited both on its reach and results at first, the code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel undoubtedly represents a great advance as it raises the visibility and the urgency of the need to establish principles to be observed by all Member States whenever recruiting health professionals from other countries. In addition to that, although voluntary, it will also serve as an instrument of reference, both encouraging Member States and other stakeholders to adopt more responsible, comprehensive and coherent strategies and recruitment policies, such as the recruitment of sufficient health personnel from within their own territory.

Brazil strongly supports the adoption of stronger mechanisms of compensation to be offered by the destination countries to those countries losing individuals with technical skills. Although Brazil's Ministry of Health recognizes that the code represents a true landmark we also believe that there are still a number of steps that could be taken to make sure the principles of transparency, fairness and mutuality of benefits are always observed by Member States.


CGFNS International, Philadelphia, USA

CGFNS International is pleased to support the draft.

It acknowledges the right of individuals to migrate, while promoting understanding of legitimate interests and responsibilities of nurses and stakeholders.

It balances the collective interest of many in emphasizing guidelines that effectively plan for workforce sustainability and retention of health workers.

It meets the policy challenges of identifying the need to improve data collection on migratory flows of health professionals.

It promotes human resource policies that encourage planning for the utilization of health workers in the health sector.

It’s clear that the implementation of the code depends on a myriad of health sector stakeholders, including private and public institutions involved with health and health professional associations.

CGFNS International is prepared to offer its experience and technical knowledge in the promotion and implementation of the Code when it is finalized.


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Last update:

10 October 2014 13:26 CEST