186373 Curbing the demand for foreign health workers: A review of policies and policy proposals in industrialized countries aimed at reducing the depletion of health workers from developing countries

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:50 AM

Meredith Fort, MPH, PhC , Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Wendy Johnson, MD, MPH , Health Alliance International, Seattle, WA
Emily deRiel, MPH , Health Alliance International, Seattle, WA
The World Health Organization estimated in 2006 that four million doctors, nurses, midwives, and other health workers are needed in developing countries to meet basic health care needs. At the same time, the shortage and poor distribution of health workers in industrialized countries continues to draw health workers away from poor countries, exacerbating the health worker crisis.

A number of governments and public health organizations have recognized the role of their health worker recruitment policies on the depletion of health workers in low-resource settings. In 2001, the United Kingdom's Department of Health developed a code of practice for the international recruitment of healthcare professionals. In recent years, several international organizations and public health associations (including APHA) have also passed resolutions calling for the ethical recruitment of health workers from abroad.

This presentation will provide a summary of policy options for industrialized countries to reduce their impact on the human resource crisis in the developing world, based on implemented and proposed policies. We offer a critical analysis of the effect that the United Kingdom's code of practice has had on health worker migration to the UK and the staffing of its National Health Service. We will propose policies for consideration by the US at the state and national level to minimize the drain of health workers from the developing world.

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe recently adopted policies and resolutions that call for the ethical recruitment of health workers from abroad. 2) Analyze the impact of the United Kindomís code of practice on health worker migration to the UK and on health worker staffing in the National Health Service. 3) Identify lessons learned for national and state policies that could be adopted in the US to minimize the drain of health workers from the developing world.

Keywords: Health Care Workers, Developing Countries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Advocacy on behalf of HAI on the issues relevant to my presentation (health workforce, Code of Conduct)
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.