Migration of Health Workers from Commonwealth Countries

Experiences and Recommendations for Action

image of Migration of Health Workers from Commonwealth Countries
In recent years there have been renewed concerns worldwide about the tremendous drain of resources that can occur when skilled health professionals migrate, particularly from developing to developed countries. Although such movement often has many advantages for the individuals concerned and their families, from the point of view of donor countries, it can have far-reaching consequences both for their economies and the development of their health services.

In the Commonwealth, migration of health professionals is a major problem for some member countries, particularly small states. In 1999, the Commonwealth Secretariat commissioned consultants to carry out literature reviews and to collect data from Ministries of Health in each of the four Commonwealth regions (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific), as a basis for recommending policies and strategic approaches to Commonwealth governments. This publication is based on a synthesis of the reports of these consultants.



Strategic approaches that have been used by countries to reduce outward migration and to mitigate its effects

Implementation of successful strategies to influence the retention and movement of health professionals is essential if countries are to overcome the problems caused by migration. The following discussion examines the experience of countries with strategies which have either been used or discussed by policy makers. These experiences may provide pointers to Commonwealth countries in developing strategies to meet their own needs.


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