International Recruitment of Health Workers to the UK: A Report for DFID
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Whilst the issue of international migration of health workers is sometimes presented as a one-way linear "brain drain", the dynamics of international mobility, migration and recruitment of health workers re complex, covering individual choice, motivations and attitudes to career development; the relative status of health workers in different systems; the differing approaches of country governments to managing, facilitating or attempting to limit outflow or inflow; and the role of recruitment agencies as intermediaries in the process. The study is based on analysis of published and unpublished data provided by professional registration bodies and government departments, combined with information from organizational case studies in the NHS, and key informant interviews in the UK, Ghana and Barbados, with international recruitment agencies, and with international organisations. The data on inflow of health workers, derived from registration records and from work permits, confirms that there has been a significant upward trend in inflow of health workers from other countries in recent years. There has been significant upward growth in inflow of doctors to the UK. IN 2002, nearly half of the 10,000 new full registrants on the GMC register were from non-EU overseas countries. There have been significant year on year growth in inflow of nurses to the UK since the mid-1990s. In 2001/02, more than half of new nurse registrants in the UK were from overseas/EU sources. The Philippines, South Africa, Australia, and India have been the most significant sources countries in recent years.
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