The government of the United Kingdom (UK) has placed Nigeria on a list of countries that should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers.
The UK government stated that employers in health and social care should not actively recruit from Nigeria and other countries on the red list unless there is a government-to-government agreement.
The World Health Organization (WHO) health workforce support and safeguards list is where Nigeria now falls.
The WHO published a list of 55 countries, including Nigeria, that face the most pressing health workforce challenges related to Universal Health Coverage a month ago.
This disclosure can be found in the updated information titled ‘Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel in England,’ which can be found on the UK government’s website.
It was stated that country identification is done in accordance with the methodology outlined in the 10-year review of the relevance and effectiveness of the WHO global code of practice for international recruitment of health personnel.
- The UK government in the updated information said, “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.
- “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.”
The code of practice also states that “ethical recruitment is determined by the country from which the individual is resident in, rather than the nationality of the individual or their original country of training”. This means that if a health worker is a national of a red-list country but does not reside there or in another red-list country, the restrictions do not apply.
Countries that are not on either the red or amber lists are to be considered ‘green’ countries and active recruitment is permitted where there is a government-to-government agreement with the UK in place.
The amber countries where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of the government-to-government agreement are Kenya and Nepal.
It 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.
- It stated, “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.’’
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