Migration Of Health Professionals In Africa Economics Essay

In the last few decennaries the relentless increasing tendency of migration of skilled wellness professional from low income states to developed states is of great concerns. This has begun to endanger wellness systems tremendously in assorted states. Deficit of human resources in malice of other challenges faced by these states like load of catching diseases TB, Malaria, and HIV epidemic may set the ends and marks sets national and international ( millenary development ends ) at a via media. Possibly, different effort to undertake this instability motion of a important portion of the wellness system is constrained by a batch of issues. This column would look at the multi sect unwritten attack to the job of migration of wellness professional from Africa and the challenges associated with execution of proposed schemes.


Migration of forces can be defined as, “ the voluntary motion of workers from one employment station to another in hunt of different working agreements ” . It occurs within and across national boundaries. The look ‘brain drain ‘ refers to a state of affairs where skilled individuals move across national boundaries. Even though the phenomenon is non new to the continent, there is concern over the acceleration of the job in recent old ages. Owing to a broad scope of economic and political factors, wellness professionals have been go forthing for finishs within the part and abroad.

In Nigeria, 432 nurses lawfully emigrated to work in Britain between April 2001-March 2002, and 347 nurses ( April 2000- March 2001 ) , out of a sum of about 2000 ( lawfully ) emigrating African nurses during this period of clip. This tendency has been perceived by Nigeria ‘s authorities as a menace to sustainable wellness attention bringing in the Africa ‘s most thickly settled state. About 20,000 wellness professionals are estimated to emigrate from Africa yearly. [ 1 ] A

Datas on Nigerian physicians lawfully migrating overseas are scarce and undependable, mostly because most affluent ‘destination ‘ states like Australia presently make it virtually impossible for overseas-trained physicians to migrate to their states chiefly on the footing of medical accomplishments. Nevertheless, 100s of Nigerian-trained physicians continue to migrate yearly. This might be one of factors rank of 187 in the World Health Report 2000, the public presentation of the Nigerian wellness system is worse than many sub-Saharan states [ 2 ]

This rush is associated with migration of wellness professionals from low/middle income state to high income states ; with so many factors playing a portion in this tremendous job from unequal substructure to hapless compensation bundles, a ample figure of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are lured off to developed states in hunt of fulfilling and moneymaking places. The load of this wellness worker exportation is significantly pressing on the efficiency of wellness system in Nigeria.

Similar tendency s occurs in some other African states as reported for Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe in a WHO study in 2003. [ 3 ] .

The Report of the Special Working Group on the World Health Organization ( WHO ) Constitution and the Brain Drain Problem in Africa ( WHO, 1997 ) recommended that WHO request member states to measure the magnitude of jobs associated with the motion of wellness professionals. The declaration WHA54.12 on Strengthening Nursing and Midwifery was adopted in May 2001. In conformity with this declaration, Member States requested the Director General of WHO to supply support in puting up mechanisms for enquiry into the planetary deficit of nursing and obstetrics forces. Attempts made by single states wellness ministries, regional offices and international wellness organic structures in the last few old ages had shown much betterment. However, there is no scientific grounds to demo this. [ 3 ]

Challenges of migrating wellness workers in Africa

The grounds for the purpose to migrate are rather many and vary amongst single worker. This is a set of option between economical, societal, psychological factors ; household choices.This is a trade off between calling chances, fiscal security for household and psychological factors, societal cost of go forthing there household and friends. This was described by Dovlo, as a “ push and pull ” nature of pick in this “ journey of hope “ ; following remarks of the wellness workers in Ghana. [ 4 ]

Many wellness professional would go forth there state for one or more of these grounds ; to derive experience, better wage, better life conditions, fiscal and societal security, better calling chances, economic diminution and hapless life conditions in place states, deficiency of wellness installations, Political instability in place state, unemployment. De-motivated working environment propagate migration of many immature, knowing people, particularly for higher educational accomplishment.

Consumers of wellness services of both states of beginning and having states have similar position on migration. Their positions are contextual, that wellness worker might cut down or increase their services for themselves, their households and communities. They would oppose or back up migration based on its benefits. There are besides influential factors, such as the continuance of critical fiscal support from migratory household members. [ 5 ]

The authorities ( place state ) who is a great employer of labor in most African states portions a different position of this deficit of wellness workers. They are unable to supply just wellness attention services, as this wellness work force is non available. Government loses on investing in instruction of wellness professional and part to wellness attention. Government have to vie for wellness workers by bettering at that place working status, nevertheless the instability in completion between themselves and the receiving employer is immense. [ 5 ] Within the systems are assorted positions like the ministry of wellness concerned with the issues of entree to wellness attention while the finance ministry looks at abroad gross in footings of remittals.

At the having terminal of the migration the section of foreign assistance may be uncomfortable with the inflow of professional signifier the development states. Possibly, the ministry of wellness might see this as a fast avenue to response to their wellness work force demands. Alongside are the labour brotherhoods that might see migration to be a manner to relief force per unit area on rewards. Contrary to this, the international development commission may this as hazard on their investings as there is deficit of wellness worker to put to death their end and marks.

The realisation of these jobs and assorted conflicting involvement has set a gait for a join forcesing attempt of states separately ( contextual attack ) and jointly ( outwardnesss ) to turn to this issues of migration. This is by holistically affecting all the necessary histrions, states, administrations and sectors ( multi sectoral attack ) . This mulit-sectoral attack generated a batch of alliances and forming of commission at assorted degrees over the old ages with schemes to get the better of this hurdle in the low income counties.

Execution of schemes and it challenges.

A wide strategic attack is important to undertake the issues of migrating towards modulating the flow of wellness workers between states. A multi-disciplinary cooperation and partnership among authorities representatives of both place state and having state, wellness establishments in assorted states, civil societies, labour brotherhoods non governmental bureaus and international bureaus and other bureaus would play a function in effectual direction the scheme. Nevertheless each state has to develop its ain scheme for covering with the issues in its ain context. A holistic attack turn toing the broader health-systems issues by making a scope of policy and scheme intercessions which influences the keeping, enlisting, deployment and development of wellness workers.

Data aggregation

Reliable informations on health-care work force can organize a foundation towards good work force planning.apporpriate information systems on human resorts, including a information base on migration is cardinal.

The trouble in happening accurate informations as expressed by Orvil [ 6 ] as caused an uncorroborated claims on media. However, the possibilities of dependable and accurate informations still exist. [ 7 ] Diallo discusses the triangulation of different beginnings to give the most comprehensive overall image. Datas from finish states are more accurate than informations from “ Orgin ” state. Regular exchange of informations between states would assist to implement this scheme. [ 7 ]

Fiscal and Non-Financial inducements

Many low income states suffer from low investing in their wellness system, corruptness, bad leading, which resulted into low rewards, hapless wellness substructure. The issue of low rewards is among the most complex and hard to implement for many states. As most wellness workers reported in a WHO study on six African states on migration that their motion is due to economic grounds. Governments are encouraged to guarantee regular and just proviso of at least a ‘living pay ‘ . Realistic wage bundles mean different sums in different states [ 3 ] . However, the rule is that “ wages ” of wellness workers should be at least comparable to those of other professionals in the same state and there should be sufficient adjustment, conveyance, public-service corporations and chances for instruction [ 3 ] .

Non fiscal inducements as besides shown to retain workers to make a good occupation, such as preparation, survey leaves chance to work in a squad. Included are conveyances, lodging and flexible work agenda had found to do staff work in rural countries. Improved wage and creative activity of inducements could lend to change by reversaling the encephalon drain and returning wellness workers to their place states

Improved wellness substructure and preparation

Good quality and measure of wellness service bringing is non inexpensive, prioritizing, and improved investing in wellness substructure is of import in order to retain staff within their state. In a long term it is manner cost effectual to put in the wellness substructure. If wellness service bringing is considered of import, so it should be demonstrated in world by bettering substructure by addition grounds based disbursement on wellness. Otherwise the few who remain may go on to feign to work or migrate.

To undertake the wellness work force crisis, there is a demand to increase preparation capacity, to better keeping and direction of the wellness work force, to turn to concerns related to international migration of wellness workers and better proctor these flows. [ 3 ]

The usage of new information and communicating engineering to set up links between the skilled wellness workers in the developed states and their opposite numbers in place states for go oning instruction and exchange. Encouraging international families or exchange programmes to put experient specializers, pedagogues and professors abroad in selected stations for one to two old ages are options that should be explored.

Multi-national understanding

Agreements between two or more Governments offer a mechanism for pull offing the migration of accomplishments such that the benefits are maximized and the injury minimized. As discussed in a WHO study 2004 [ 3 ] It would non be hard to support demands for some signifier of compensation from the receiver rich states for the losingss suffered by the provider, chiefly hapless states in the African part. Previous efforts to set forward the issue of reparations have so far non been successful. However, serious consideration should be given to this issue. There are significant moral and economic grounds for making so. Should dialogues take to compensation, the existent costs should at least include costs of preparation and the value of service the professional would hold given to the place state. These issues call for serious treatment and understanding at high degrees such as the G8 and UN General Assembly and led by African Heads of State.

Bilateral dialogue understandings, for which impermanent visa are granted build the chance of wellness worker to wok aboard for a limited clip. This sort of strategy had been used between United Kingdom and South Africa, which recorded some success. A modified strategy adopted in the Caribbean community ( CARICOM ) which is on rotational footing, for three twelvemonth an abroad state. [ 8 ]

The Commonwealth Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Health Workers was a positive move towards the issue of international migration. However, due to the fact that the Code is non a legal papers and non lawfully enforceable, it has really limited impact. It is of import for the Commonwealth foremost to guarantee the acceptance and attachment to the Code by all Member states, and secondly to recommend that all states globally follow and follow with it. Sub-regional political and economic organisations such as the African Union ( AU ) , Economic Community of Western Africa States ( ECOWAS ) and Southern Africa Development Community ( SADC ) should be actively involved in this enterprise. [ 3 ]

The debut of international migration codification of behavior would besides assist to modulate the rate motion of wellness worker. If an understanding at the international degree ( WHO ) can be reached.


It is obvious that migration of wellness professionals will go on whatever the schemes of motive and keeping implemented. However, multi sectoral attacks with Advanced schemes should hence be used to cut down the impact of migration on wellness systems in the Africa. The disparities between high and low income states suggest that there will be important wage differences which act as a cardinal factor driving wellness professionals toward industrialised states. More cognition is required as to qualitative factors that influence this instability exchange. A long term program is required to rejuvenate economic systems of poorer states and a witting attempt of coaction via transnational carbon monoxide operation and support of international bureaus would do a difference.