WHO agrees code on ethical recruitment of health personnel.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Employee recruitment (Standards)
Medical personnel (Recruiting)
Medical ethics (Standards)
Pub Date: 11/01/2010
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: Nov, 2010 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 36
Topic: Event Code: 350 Product standards, safety, & recalls; 280 Personnel administration Computer Subject: Industry hiring
Product: Product Code: 9918400 Employee Recruitment; 8010000 Medical Personnel NAICS Code: 62 Health Care and Social Assistance
Organization: Organization: World Health Organization
Accession Number: 247520213
Full Text: The World Health Organization agreed a new voluntary global code of practice on the ethical recruitment of international health personnel that discourages countries from actively recruiting from poor nations with critical staff shortages. The code is only the second such accord, the first being the 1981 international code on marketing of breast milk substitutes. There are severe shortages of health workers in 57 poor nations--36 in Africa and the rest mainly in Southeast Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa has only 3% of the world's health workforce, and 4.2 million more health professionals are needed worldwide. The code, adopted by ministers during the 2010 World Health Assembly, recommends countries should "facilitate circular migration of health personnel (the freedom for medical personnel who have emigrated to go back and forth without restrictions)" so that skills and knowledge can benefit both source and destination countries. All health sector stakeholders are expected to implement the code. Although financial compensation is not covered by the code, there is an expectation that donor countries and international institutions will support poor countries for the loss of personnel both with technical expertise and financing. There were strong inputs from Brazil, Botswana, European Union, Kenya, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom and Zambia. The code had been under negotiation since 2004; the Obama administration took a softer line than his predecessor, easing the way for compromise. The WHO is to report in five years time on the code's implementation. (1)

(1.) Zaroeostas J. WHO agrees new code on ethical recruitment of international health personnel. BMJ 2010;340:c2784.
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