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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact on health services in India of the recruitment by NHS hospitals of nurses from India; and if she will make a statement. [112656]

The international movement of health personnel has the potential to undermine the human resource base of many developing country health systems. DFID has worked closely with the Department of Health to develop guidelines to ensure that nurses and other personnel are only recruited from countries where there is a surplus. Mutually beneficial arrangements are also encouraged so that aspects of human resource management can be strengthened in return.Given the size of India there is a scarcity of precise information concerning human resources. We know that in some states there is a surplus of staff. We also know that there have been private companies recruiting nurses in India for the global market and that the Government of India has been interested in a more formal bilateral arrangement to manage this process.DFID have proposed to the Department of Health and the Government of India that reliable data should be collected concerning the place of origin for personnel that are recruited, as well as information concerning their current practice.