Why are health workers migrating?
Q: Why are health workers migrating?
A: Health workers migrate for the same reason all migrants do: they seek better employment and quality of life. Income is an important motivation for migration, but not the only one. Other reasons include better working conditions, more job satisfaction, career opportunities and the quality of management and governance. Political instability, war, and the threat of violence in the workplace also are strong drivers in many countries. Health workers typically move from rural to urban areas and from the public to the private sector to try and ameliorate their situation. Sometimes, they leave their country altogether. This is the "push factor," which results in qualified workers migrating to developed countries.
Developed countries need health workers in greater numbers: this is the "pull factor". Demand for health workers has increased in high-income countries because wealthy countries are not producing enough health workers locally and their existing workforce is ageing; yet there is a growing need for health care because of the ageing of populations and the rise of chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. Another stimulus to migration is the growth of professional recruitment agencies.