Public hearings on the draft code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel


The number of migrating health workers has significantly increased in the past decades. Health worker migration from those countries experiencing a crisis shortage in their health workforce is further weakening the already fragile health systems and presents a serious impediment to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals.

The WHO code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel is expected to be an important new instrument in the global response to the health worker migration issue. The code will set out guiding principles and voluntary international standards for recruitment of health workers, to increase the consistency of national policies and discourage unethical practices, while promoting an equitable balance of interests among health workers, source countries and destination countries.

This is a direct response to Member States and to the need for action to stem the crisis shortage of health workers affecting many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. An initial draft code is now open to all for comments through inclusive, web-based public hearings. The aim of this process is to submit a draft code of practice to the World Health Assembly for its consideration. The soonest this could happen would be May 2009.

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