Coalitions of Alliance member civil society organizations urge for discussion on the Code of Practice at the next World Health Assembly
"While recognizing the importance of respecting the right of health professionals to migrate, we also support strong language to set clear boundaries and expectations on State and non- State actors on recruiting HRH, particularly from developing countries, and to prioritize health systems strengthening."
Extract from HWAI public letter
20 January 2010 - Medicus Mundi, World Health Professional Alliance and Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative have released statements and a public letter, responding the WHO Executive Board (EB) discussions on the draft global code of practice on international recruitment of health personnel.
The public letter signed by 25 international NGOs and released by the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative (HWAI) stressed the importance of the Global Code of Practice and urged the EB to submit the Code for discussion at the 63rd WHA in May 2010.
The letter reads: "The Code is necessary to (1) respond to the critical HRH shortages and (2) ensure the full realization of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health – “the right to health” – in all contexts. While recognizing the importance of respecting the right of health professionals to migrate, we also support strong language to set clear boundaries and expectations on State and non- State actors on recruiting HRH, particularly from developing countries, and to prioritize health systems strengthening."
The HWAI signatories also stressed the need for improvements of the current Draft of the Code, including the need for "provision on abstaining “from active recruitment of health personnel from developing countries unless” equitable agreements (or other arrangements) supporting that recruitment are in place."
Anke Tijtsma of Wemos read a statement by Medicus Mundi International Network, highlighting the need to further strengthen the ability of State and non-State actors to adhere to the Code and enhance its overall impact. She said, "while the Code refers to the right and responsibility of all States to progressively achieve full realization of the Right to Health, it needs to explicitly incorporate that the right to health entails both the obligation of countries to strengthening their own health systems and the obligation of international cooperation and assistance." She also mentioned the importance of participation of non-State actors in the implementation and monitoring processes of the Code.
The World Health Professional Alliance (WHPA) is an umbrella body of organizations such as the International Council of Nurses, International Pharmaceutical Federation, World Dental Federation and World Medical Association. The WHPA also supported the revised global draft code of practice and its submission to the World Health Assembly. Its statement said, that "the balance between the individual rights of health personnel and the right to the highest attainable standard of health of the populations of source countries is clearly a priority issue which has been addressed in the Code. It is important that the Code applies globally, to private as well as public sectors, temporary as well as permanent workers."
The WHO Executive Board comprises of 34 members and acts as a decision-making body to advise on the policies of the World Health Assembly.