Migration of healthcare workers from poor countries deteriorating, WHO says

March 15, 2023 : More impoverished countries are increasingly forfeiting healthcare workers to wealthier ones as the latter pursue to shore up their staff losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, occasionally through active recruitment, the World Health Organization declared on Tuesday.

The direction for nurses and other workers to leave cities of Africa or Southeast Asia for better possibilities in wealthier nations in the Middle East or Europe was already in progress before the pandemic but has revved since, the U.N. health agency said, as global competition grows considerably.

“Health workers are the spine of every health system, and yet 55 nations with some of the world’s most delicate health systems do not have enough, and many are forfeiting their health workers to international migration,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general.

He directed to a new WHO list of vulnerable countries, adding eight states since it was posted in 2020. Rwanda, Comoros, Zimbabwe, Zambia, East Timor, Tuvalu, Laos, and Vanuatu.

Director of the WHO’s health workforce department, Jim Campbell told reporters that safeguards for countries on the WHO list were vital so they “can resume to rebuild and recover from the pandemic without an extra loss of workers to migration.”

Almost 115,000 healthcare workers died from COVID around the world during the pandemic, but numerous more left their professions owing to burnout and depression, he spoke. As a sign of the problems, protests and strikes have been collected in more than 100 countries since the pandemic started, he added, including in Britain and the United States.

“We must to protect the workforce if we wish to ensure the population has entry to care,” displayed Campbell.

When asked which countries were attracting more employees, he expressed wealthy OECD nations and Gulf states but added that competition between African nations had also amplified.

The WHO expresses it is okay with the migration of workers if it is managed properly. In 2010, it gave a voluntary global code of practice on the international recruitment of health care workers and suggested its members to follow it.