UK halts recruitment of Nigerian health workers
Barely one month after the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed 55 countries, including Nigeria facing the most pressing health workforce challenges related to Universal Health Coverage, the United Kingdom has placed Nigeria on the red list of countries that would not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers.
The government stated that Nigeria and other countries on the red list should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers unless there was a government-to-government agreement.
The UK government revealed on its website in an update titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and social care personnel in England,’ “that country identification follows the methodology contained in the 10-year review of relevance and effectiveness of the WHO global code of practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.”
“Consistent with the WHO Global Code of Practice principles and articles, and as explicitly called for by the WHO Global Code of Practice 10-year review, the listed countries should be prioritised for health personnel development and health system-related support, provided with safeguards that discourage active international recruitment of health personnel.”
It stated that “Countries on the list should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers, recruitment organisations, agencies, collaborations, or contracting bodies unless there is a government-to-government agreement in place to allow managed recruitment undertaken strictly in compliance with the terms of that agreement.”
“Countries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards list are graded red in the code. If a government-to-government agreement is put in place between a partner country, which restricts recruiting organisations to the terms of the agreement, the country is added to the amber list.”
It explained that if a country is not on the red or amber list, then it is green, noting that the amber countries where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of the government-to-government agreement are Kenya and Nepal.
The UK added that “active recruitment is permitted from green-graded countries where there is a government-to-government agreement with the UK in place for international health and care workforce recruitment.”
“Green-graded countries without a government-to-government agreement with the UK are not published in the code of practice for England.”
“The government-to-government agreement may set parameters, implemented by the country of origin, for how UK employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations recruit. These organisations are encouraged to recruit on the terms of the government-to-government agreement.”
“The green country list will be updated as new government-to-government agreements are signed with the UK. It is recommended employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations regularly check the list for updates prior to embarking on any recruitment campaign.”
“Green-graded countries with a government-to-government agreement for managing international health and care workforce recruitment are India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka”.