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UK stops recruitment of healthcare workers from Nigeria

by NaijNaira
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The United Kingdom (UK) has included Nigeria in its red list of countries that health and social care employers should not actively target for recruitment, except with government-to-government agreements.

This move follows a recent announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which identified 55 countries, including Nigeria, as facing the most significant health workforce challenges concerning Universal Health Coverage.

The UK government has released a document titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and social care personnel in England,’ which stated that countries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards 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.

According to the document, countries on the list should be prioritised for health personnel development and health system-related support, provided with safeguards that discourage active international recruitment of health personnel.

The UK government’s Code of Practice for international health and social care personnel recruitment in England lists Kenya and Nepal as amber countries, where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with government-to-government agreements.

The green-graded countries that allow active recruitment with the UK under such agreements in place are India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.

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.

It is recommended that employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations regularly check the green country list for updates before embarking on any recruitment campaign.

The inclusion of Nigeria in the red list means that there will be stricter regulations and restrictions in place to prevent the active recruitment of Nigerian health and social care workers to the UK, except through government-to-government agreements.

This decision is aimed at prioritising health personnel development and health system-related support in Nigeria and discouraging active international recruitment of health personnel from Nigeria.

The UK government’s move has been applauded by some experts in the health sector, who believe that it will help to mitigate the negative impact of brain drain on the Nigerian health sector.

However, others have criticised the decision, arguing that it could further worsen the already fragile health sector in Nigeria by depriving the sector of much-needed resources.

Overall, the UK government’s decision to include Nigeria in the red list of countries for health and social care recruitment is in line with the WHO’s recommendations to prioritise health personnel development and health system-related support in countries facing significant health workforce challenges.

This article was updated 3 months ago

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