Summaries of contributions
Alfred C. T. Kangolle - Ocean Road Cancer Institute, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania
There are several reasons why health personnel migrate. The main ones are: looking for good salaries, avoiding poor working environments and infrastructures, and inability to use their knowledge due to lack of a supporting environment. The political situation, war and natural disasters also contribute to migration. Developed and developing countries should aim to provide good salaries wherever health personnel are employed. This can be achieved by having special funds as top-ups to the salaries already provided to these staff.
Purposeful training of new staff in all countries should be done. All people qualified for training in health-care practice and related disciplines should be given appropriate support. The global community will need to raise funds to meet this challenge. Political leaders have to understand that the decisions they make are not for themselves but for the public and that such decisions can affect other professions, including staff in the health field. Once lost it may be difficult to regain them.
Martin Magala, Hugu Youth Development Foundation, Mbale, Uganda
I do not agree that health workers migrate from their countries to others because they are looking for greener pastures. In Uganda, for instance, medical officers have gone to work in the south of Africa and Europe leaving a gap in health-service delivery, especially in rural and remote areas. As a result, patients have died and remain sick because they have no access to treatment, while others have to pay heavily for transportation to urban centres where there are better health facilities. I urge the international community to put strict rules on the migration of health workers.
Furqan H.Tejani - Long Island College Hospital, New York, United States of America
The recruitment process for health personnel needs a lot of improvement, including stringent oversight and good infrastructure support. This cannot be provided either in part or fully by the emerging economies of the world and the result is a makeshift system that is being misused or abused by both parties. The notion of a central repository of health workers with an organization that has oversight experience and infrastructure is the first step to a smooth recruitment process. Following up the process and personnel will lead to the identification of strengths and weaknesses in the system.
The future also lies with exploiting emerging web-based technologies and telemedicine to enhance the utilization of one individual and extend health-care services to areas not easily accessible. Finally, making it known to all concerned nations that health is a priority that cannot be ignored may be a tough task at the outset but it has to be done and has to be done soon as the disease burden of a nation without proper planning can be catastrophic.