Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Eric Friedman, Physicians for Human Rights, Washington, DC, USA

The following are extracts of a longer submission:

The code should recognize the right to the highest attainable standard of health as an obligation of all governments.

The code needs to be augmented to properly recognize the right to health.

The code should more explicitly discourage active recruitment from countries suffering severe health worker shortages and encourage foreign assistance.

Article 6 or 11 should explicitly encourage financial and support from wealthy countries to developing countries to help them build health workforce capacity and improve working conditions, at levels sufficient to fully implement workforce plans referenced in 6.1.

In article 3.1 we recommend removing the word “voluntary” from this description of international standards. Mandatory standards would maximize benefits and mitigation negative impacts.

Article 6.1 should specify that health workforce plans, along with being evidence-based, should be also based in human rights.

Given the risk that a country might address recruitment only by public sector organizations, it would be useful to specify that the code covers both public and private recruiters and employers (in 2.2), as it specifies both public and private sector health workers (in 2.3).


Stan Marshall, National Services Department, Canadian Union of Public Employees

Add the principle that all people should have access to high-quality, public health-care services free at the point of delivery.

Add a principle that international labour migration legal and institutional frameworks should not be used to undermine trade unions or the rights and wages/benefits of health-care workers.

Strengthen 3.2: “ …health systems, particularly in light of liberalized trade and investment, policies of international financial institutions, and other impediments to the realization of health as a human right”.

Add to 3.4 the principles of equity and justice, “just” to 3.5, and “sexual orientation and gender identity” to 3.9.

Add to Article 4 that migrant workers should have the right to access citizenship/permanent residency in the destination country as well as access to social benefits on par with the domestically educated health workforce.

Add to Article 4 an obligation on governments and employers to inform migrant health workers of their rights and how to enforce those rights, including providing them with the contact information for applicable advocacy organizations and trade unions.

Other suggested additions to Article 4 were made and will be considered by the drafters.


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Last update:

5 September 2014 10:15 CEST