Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Mireille Kingma, International Council of Nurses, Geneva, Switzerland

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is pleased to support the draft. The emphasis on effective planning for workforce sustainability and retention measures is welcome. ICN strongly supports the collection of reliable data as well as research on health worker migration and its impact on health systems. ICN agrees that the implementation of the Code depends on involving health-sector stakeholders, including health professional organizations.

We have identified one significant gap in the Code as it relates to professional regulation across a number of the articles. For example, the respect of regulation screening processes (national, bi-lateral or multi-lateral) must be mentioned to ensure the quality of care provided by migrating professionals and the protection of the titles held by qualified health professionals. In particular relation to point 8.2a, a database of regulatory requirements is also needed. In addition, it would be helpful if when listing the health-sector stakeholders that professional regulatory bodies are specifically mentioned as well. Regulators must be consulted during recruitment and employment decision-making processes and other related activities.


Paul Moses Ndegwa - Ambassadors of Change, Nakuru, Kenya

I note the following issues for further discussion:

  • WHO to highlight and sensitize Member States on health obligation for their citizens as a right and a cornerstone the code of conduct.
  • The principles of transparency, fairness and mutuality of benefit need not only involve health workers as individuals but engage Member States for strengthened negotiations.
  • The WHO should establish a central body to promote coordination of health issues raised in the code of practice.
  • Voluntary standards on international health personnel tend to compromise the rights of health workers rather than safeguard them, including the UNGASS declaration.
  • Before undertaking international data gathering, Member States should be supported and encouraged to develop dependable and sustainable data banks.
  • WHO should develop an e-forum to facilitate discussions on barriers of the code and the practicability of the code, among other issues.
  • WHO should also provide wider space for civil society as key partners in advocacy for a strengthened workforce and for keeping Member States on their toes in adhering to the code.

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Last update:

7 December 2010 02:43 CET