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Health Care Professionals: Recruitment

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of which developed countries attract the largest numbers of health care professionals from less developed countries with inadequate domestic health care systems. (107215)

The Government do not currently collect these data. Nevertheless, the 2006 World Health Report “Working Together for Health” looked at patterns of health care professionals migrating to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The report says that while statistics on global flows of health workers remain far from complete, nearly 25 per cent. of doctors trained in sub-Saharan Africa are working in OECD countries (from 3 per cent. in Cameroon to 37 per cent. in South Africa). Nurses and midwives trained in sub-Saharan Africa and working in OECD countries represent 5 per cent. of the current work force (again a wide range from 0.1 per cent. in Uganda to 34 per cent. in Zimbabwe). Table 5.1, a copy of which has been placed in the Library, says that among OECD countries there is a range as to the percentage of doctors trained abroad (from 4 per cent. in Portugal to 34 per cent. in New Zealand (33 per cent. for the United Kingdom) and for nurses (0 per cent. for Finland to 21 per cent. for New Zealand (10 per cent. for the UK). It is important to note that the report does not specify the number of these overseas-trained doctors and nurses who come from developing countries.