In the wake of a drastic brain drain among Nigerian doctors and nurses, the government of the UK has placed a ban on it. In the recent years, many Nigerian nurses and doctors from Nigeria have relocated to a lot of countries especially the UK and Is in search of a greener pastures. Many of these medical personnel has hinged their reasons on the poor remuneration and other benefit meant to be accrued to them. This has resulted in a series of labour strikes which has become a recurring decimal.
It is reported that countries like Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt top the list of nations with doctors and nurses working in the United Kingdom despite a ban on recruiting from those countries. According to the British National Health Services (NHS) Code of practice, Nigeria is among the nation that should not be actively recruited from because they receive aid or suffer from shortages of medical practitioners.
Recently, in a joint statement, Helen Whately MP, UK’s Minister of State for Care, and Wendy Morton MP, Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, highlighted the need for the revised CoP as concerns recruitment of international health and social workers.
The ministers noted that 16% of nurses and 36% of doctors in England trained outside of the United Kingdom (UK), while the social care sector employed 35% of nurses and 16% of all social care workers from beyond the UK.
According to the UK government, the CoP is aimed at all health or social care organisations or recruitment agencies undertaking international recruitment.
In the revised CoP published on February 25, the UK government said that the code of practice promotes high standards of ethical practice in the international recruitment and employment of health and social care personnel.
“It also sets out the UK’s approach to supporting health and social care systems and workforce, alongside safeguards on active recruitment from countries with the most pressing universal health coverage related health and social care workforce needs,” the government said.
Explaining the decision to suspend recruitment from the 47 nations, the UK government said, “It is based on the principles set out in the World Health Organisation (WHO) global code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel. It refers to the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguard List of countries which must not be actively targeted by health or social care recruiters unless there is a government-to-government agreement in place to allow managed recruitment on the terms of the agreement.”
The UK currently boasts of 5,250 Nigerian-trained doctors as of April 2018, a rise of 10 per cent on the previous year.
The affected countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, among others. Unfortunately, a lot of these countries are in Africa. This could be a wake-up to the development and a revamp of the medical sectors.