The United Kingdom has updated its medical code of practice (CoP) which suspends the recruitment of doctors and nurses from Nigeria and 46 other countries.
According to the document “There must be no active recruitment from the countries on the list, unless there is an explicit government-to-government agreement with the UK to support managed recruitment activities that are undertaken strictly in compliance with the terms of that agreement.
“Government-to-government agreements must make sure that migration to the UK does not exacerbate existing health and social care workforce shortages. Agreements will be informed by the best evidence, including a health labor market analysis, engagement with health sector stakeholders in countries of origin and consultation with WHO”.
“Skilled and experienced health and social care personnel are a valuable resource to any country, and for some low and lower middle-income countries increasing scale of health and social care worker migration threatens the achievement of national health care goals”. While this might seems like the update is aimed at improving the welfare of the countries in question, the document further highlights that “International migration of health and social care personnel can make a contribution to the development and strengthening of health and social care systems to both countries of origin and destination countries if recruitment is managed properly.”
The document also states that the UK aims at increasing the amount of home grown nurses and general practitioners by a lot and have put machinery in place to encourage those who have left to come back.
The document describes ‘active international recruitment’ “as the process by which UK health and social care employers, contracting bodies, agencies and sub-contractors target individuals, either physically or virtually, to market UK employment opportunities, leading to UK employment in the health or social care sector. This can include, but is not limited to, advertising to candidates through all types of communication mediums, ‘incentivisation’ activities such as referral bonus schemes and referring candidates to specific vacancies in the UK in return for a fee from the employing organisation. Recruitment organisations are not allowed to charge fees to the individual employee.”
The 47 countries include: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua, New Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania,Togo, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen.