Efforts underway to stem "brain drain" of doctors and nurses

Efforts underway to stem "brain drain" of doctors and nurses

Combating the "brain drain" of healthcare professionals from developing countries

This report from the World Health Organization (WHO) outlines actions that are being taken to combat the problem of developing countries losing healthcare professionals through migration to wealthier countries. The loss of trained health professionals is causing major problems in the fight against HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.

The initiatives include those taken on the part of developed countries to adopt ethical recruitment policies. The United Kingdom, for instance, has a rigorous code which prohibits the NHS (National Health Service) and the private healthcare sector from actively recruiting workers from 150 developing countries. There are also exchange programmes to allow worker from South Africa to gain experience working in hospitals in the UK before returning to their home countries, and allowing senior health professionals from the UK to spend time working as mentors in the South African health system. On the other side are those initiatives which can be taken to encourage health professionals who have migrated and received training and experience abroad to return to their countries of origin. This includes developed countries making their immigration and residency procedures more flexible, and developing countries improving the training, salary and other benefits available to their healthcare workers to encourage them to stay.

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