What is the WHO doing about health worker migration?

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The World Health Organization and partners developed a global code of practice on the international recruitment of health workers. The Code was unanimously adopted at the 63rd World Health Assembly in May 2010. The code sets out guiding principles and voluntary international standards for recruitment of health workers to increase the consistency of national policies and discourage unethical practices, while promoting an equitable balance of interests among health workers, source countries and destination countries.

Migration of health personnel continues to be a problem. Oman, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia have over 80% dependence on foreign trained health personnel. Renewed efforts are required to invigorate the implementation of the Global Code of Practice on the international recruitment of health personnel and fulfill its aspirational objectives. All WHO member states were requested to designate a national authority for tracking the Code implementation. As of 2013 a national authority was designated by only 85 countries; of these, 56 countries reported on the status of the Code implementation. The WHO-EURO region reported most progress in the Code implementation in 2013 with several countries proactively promoting the Code. (Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Thailand and Philippines). In Africa, there are only two countries taking steps to implement the Code (Cameroon and Rwanda).

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