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Brain drain: UK halts recruitment of health workers from Nigeria

The United Kingdom government has announced its decision to halt the recruitment of health workers from Nigeria, placing the country on the red list of nations not to be targeted for recruitment.

The move comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) identified Nigeria as one of 55 countries with significant health workforce challenges, in a report released a month ago.

Consequently, the UK government has advised health and social care employers not to actively seek workers from these countries except where there is a government-to-government agreement.

This directive is highlighted in a statement on the UK government’s website titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and social care personnel in England.’ “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…” part of the statement reads.

“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.

It would be recalled that in 2021, the UK suspended the recruitment of healthcare workers from Nigeria and 46 other countries.

The country noted that the increasing scale of health and social care worker migration from low and lower-middle-income countries threatens the achievement of their nation’s health and social care goals, ThePunch reports.

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Currently, there are 11,055 Nigerian-trained doctors in the UK, according to the UK General Medical Council’s data.

Nigeria has the third-highest number of foreign doctors working in the United Kingdom. The top countries are India and Pakistan.

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Brain drain: UK halts recruitment of health workers from Nigeria

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