Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Nukuro Ezekiel, WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific

The objectives and main subjects covered under the 11 articles of the draft code are more than in current codes of practices. These core areas are important in providing guidance for all stakeholders in enhancing effective management of migration or development of their recruitment policies, procedures and practices.

The language used in the draft code is mostly sound and non-provocative and should facilitate reaching consensus on most, if not all articles of the draft code. A few suggestions:

  • Include a "Preamble" that sets the rationale for and primary goal of the code. The goal could be to "promote ethical recruitment practices and effective management of migration so as to limit negative impacts on health systems of source countries and enhance benefits for all parties concerned" (see Article 3.1).
  • Consider using references or footnotes to link relevant operative paragraphs to existing international binding conventions provisions like the ILO and human rights conventions (e.g. article 3.5).
  • Suggest adding in appropriate parts an emphasis on facilitating return migration and re-integration of the diaspora.

NOTE: Several other specific comments on various articles of the draft code were made and will be considered when the draft is revised.


Jean Marie Enele Melono, PhD student and consultant in gastroenterology and hepatology

NOTE: The following are excerpts from the longer original comment submitted to WHO.

The definition of migrating health worker needs to be differentiated from the foreign-trained doctor in OECD countries. For example, I studied medicine in an OECD-country and completed my specialization in the same country. Am I a migrating health worker?

WHO is working with OECD to harmonize collection of data related to health worker migration and to improve alignment of policy development initiatives. The G8 reiterated it commitment to work toward increasing health workforce coverage toward the WHO threshold of 2.3 health workers per 1000 people. One step toward this target will be to communicate through the Internet to medical students all over the OECD countries and to propose financial incentives for their return.

In terms of employment and conditions of work, migrant health personnel should enjoy the same legal rights and responsibilities as the domestically trained health workforce, without discrimination. The challenge for the voluntary code will be to detect countries that are discriminating. Given its non-binding character, who will watch for this injustice? I worked eight years with half the salary of nationals, without insurance and without any additional rights.


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Last update:

5 September 2014 10:15 CEST