Nurses' and doctors' leaders have called on the UK government to tackle the "poaching" of overseas healthcare workers, at next month's G8 summit. They say staff migration from developing nations is killing millions and compounding poverty...Sub-Saharan African countries are some of the worst hit by the "brain-drain". The World Health Organization estimates that one million more healthcare workers are needed in these countries if they are to meet basic health goals, such as reducing childhood and maternal mortality.And, of course, the inevitable:
The letter says: "The UK government has led the way in establishing a code of good practice for ethical recruitment. It is now essential that other developed countries, such as the US, make a similar commitment to address the issue."It's always about the US, somehow. Maybe I'm missing something, but at a time when the US supposedly has such an image problem, preventing educated and skilled Africans from improving their personal lot by working in the US precisely because they are educated, skilled and from Africa doesn't strike me as a winning strategy.
Nor does it strike me as a particularly enlightened economic policy. This is, afterall, essentially an economic problem in the allocation of resources. And it seems to me that if you were looking for the best way to reduce the number educated Africans going into the medical profession, penalizing them for doing so by artificially reducing the scope of their personal employment opportunities would have to rank as one of the better plans. I think the British Medical Association ought to stick to taking care of sick people and leave the economic planning to someone else.