Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Charlene Currie, The Canadian Nurses Association, Ottawa, Canada

  • Include a background section to describe the issue and the intent of the code and a section that defines terms. If there is no difference between “migrant health worker”, “health personnel” and “health worker”, use one consistent term.
  • Mention the function of professional regulatory bodies to determine nurses’ standards of education, competencies and standards of practice and their role in the protection of public safety.
  • Mention the provision of adequate orientation, mentoring and supervision for migrating health workers.
  • Include unions and employers where various stakeholders are listed.
  • In Article 6, emphasize self-sustainability and the rejection of international recruitment practices where countries have failed to implement sound HR planning.
  • Clarify statement in Article 7 that indicates Member States should ensure research is conducted into all aspects of international recruitment of health personnel.
  • In Article 8, add the need for international data definitions and standards.
  • Under Article 10, who is responsible and accountable in Member States/jurisdictions for monitoring and reporting?
  • Include the International Council of Nurses in 10.3 (c).

Clarisse Delorme, The World Medical Association, Ferney-Voltaire, France

Note: The WMA provided a number of specific comments on articles 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and these will be duly considered when the draft is revised. Below are selected highlights of WMA’s general comments.

The clear recognition of the individual right for health personnel to migrate is a positive step forward.

Patients’ outcome and quality care should be added as one of the objectives of the code.

The draft fails to mention or grant particular attention to the 57 countries identified by WHO as facing an extremely alarming health workforce shortage.

The reporting mechanism proposed for the implementation of the code as too broad, and therefore is likely to remain ineffective. For accountability purposes, we recommend introducing the obligation for countries to comprise in their report systematic assessments of health professionals’ perspectives, patient outcomes as well as mutuality of benefits.

Articles 3.3, 3.7, 4.1, 4.8, 4.9, 5.3, 6.2 and 9.3 are essential for the code.

The WMA applauds the wording of the title, referring to the term “health personnel” – instead of “heath workers” as sometimes used in WHO language. Indeed, this term reflects more adequately the fact that physicians, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, dentists or physiotherapists have a certain degree of education and acquire the skills/experience indispensable to provide high quality care.


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Last update:

5 September 2014 10:15 CEST