Health workforce

Summaries of contributions



Tuire Santamaki-Vuori, Finnish Public Services Unions’ EU Working Party (FIPSU)

The following is extracted from a much longer submission:

Language proficiency is important in regulated health care professions, in which the guarantee of patient safety is imperative, and attaining the appropriate level takes years. Employees should be able to complete necessary studies during paid work hours and they should be tested on aural comprehension, speech and conversation, reading comprehension and writing.

Immigrants should receive sufficient information about handling such issues as degree equivalency.

Before recruiting, employers need to be certain that employees have received sufficient information about the terms and conditions of employment, the collective agreement in force and the general rights and responsibilities of an employee.

The increasingly aggressive recruiting of health care employees by Western countries has caused severe problems for the countries of origin. Migration is, however, the right of every health worker and those willing to move elsewhere should not be made the culprits for their countries’ problems.

It is not ethically acceptable for Western countries to recruit people from poorer countries in order to fix their own workforce shortages. Support should be given for strategies that contribute to providing a sufficient workforce for all countries.


Global Health Workforce Alliance, Geneva, Switzerland

Note: The GHWA provided a number of specific comments on the articles and these will be duly considered when the draft is revised. Below are selected highlights of GHWA’s general comments.

  • Emphasis on the code being a voluntary issue and the selectively mild and guarded language undermines its effectiveness.
  • The code has gone to great length to articulate the rights and support for migrant health workers in destination countries, and has not focused on the search for tangible solutions to mitigate the negative impact in the source countries.
  • The code is silent on the role international initiatives’ in-country recruitment (public to private) plays in weakening public health service sector.
  • The double face of active recruitment should be articulated and emphasized.
  • There is need to articulate clearly the obligations of both source and destination Member States; and call for more commitment to implement the code.
  • A general framework to facilitate countries to navigate through managing migration efficiently would help both source and destination countries as well as facilitate monitoring.

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Last update:

10 October 2014 13:26 CEST