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[afro-nets] The health migration crisis

  • From: Claudio Schuftan <claudio@hcmc.netnam.vn>
  • Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2006 12:14:05 +0700

The health migration crisis: the role of four Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development countries

Bob Pond, Chêne-Bourg, Switzerland
Barbara McPake, Institute for International Health and Develop-
ment, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK
The Lancet, Volume 367, Number 9520, 29 April 2006


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"...The crisis of human resources for health that is affecting
low-income countries and especially sub-Saharan Africa has been
attributed, at least in part, to increasing rates of migration
of qualified health staff to high-income countries.

We describe the conditions in four Organisation for Economic Co-
operation and Development (OECD) - the UK, USA, France, and Ger-
many - health labour markets that have led to increasing rates
of immigration. Popular explanations of these trends include
ageing populations, growing incomes, and feminisation of the
health workforce. Although these explanations form part of the
larger picture, analysis of the forces operating in the four
countries suggests that specific policy measures largely unre-
lated to these factors have driven growing demand for health

On this basis we argue that specific policy measures are equally
capable of reversing these trends and avoiding the exploitation
of low-income countries' scarce resources. These policies should
seek to ensure local stability in health labour markets so that
shortages of staff are not solved via the international brain