Friday, May 27, 2005

UK poaching from Africa

The Lancet, 27 May 2005, explains that Africa has lost many of its doctors and nurses to Britain. African health services are badly damaged as a result.

A 1998 UN study estimated that 56% of all migrating doctors move from poor to rich countries, while only 11% migrate in the opposite direction; the imbalance is even greater for nurses.

Britain is seriously short of doctors and nurses. Data from 2002 show that among the 11234 new registrations with Britain's General Medical Council nearly half were from non-European Union countries.

It has been estimated that 60% of the doctors trained in Ghana in the 1980s have left the country; 200 doctors left in 2002. In 2003, UK work permits were approved for 5880 health and medical personnel from South Africa, 2825 from Zimbabwe, 1510 from Nigeria, and 850 from Ghana, despite these countries being included among those proscribed for NHS recruitment.

Many British doctors move to Canada and the USA.

In France only around 5% of practising doctors qualified overseas.

In the UK, 31% of practising doctors and 13% of nurses were born outside the UK.

Half the recent expansion of the NHS—8000 of an additional 16000 staff—qualified abroad.

In France and Germany the proportion of practising doctors who trained overseas is under 5% (UK 31%)

France, Italy, and Germany have many more doctors per 100000 population than the UK

Italy 606,
Germany 362,
France 327,
UK 166
Ghana 9
Tanzania 2

The need to train more doctors in the UK is now urgent.

There has been an increases in early retirement of UK doctors.

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