Can / should health worker migration be stopped?
Q: Can / should health worker migration be stopped?
A: The issue is not about 'stopping' migration; rather it is about management and regulation. Freedom of movement is a fundamental right according to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and migration is a staple of human history. Globalization has accelerated this trend significantly. But the grave effects of health workforce migration on developing countries call for a responsible, regulated management of migration, with a critical aim that all countries move towards self-sufficiency.
Some countries specifically train health workers for 'export'. Bilateral agreements between 'importing' and 'exporting' countries need to be encouraged to protect the rights of the health worker and offer some guarantee of employment level in the 'importing' country.
The Alliance and several of its partners, in particular WHO, is also working on a Global Code of Practice on ethical international recruitment of health workers. This instrument will be designed to ensure that all best practices are followed and protect the rights of workers while providing a framework for bilateral cooperation.