Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Nigeria UK doctors: The United Kingdom (UK) has declared the suspension of recruitment of doctors, nurses, and other professional health care workers from Nigeria and 46 other countries under a new administration of its updated Code of Practice (CoP).
Statistics of Africa Check revealed that about 5, 250 Nigerian-trained physicians are on the UK catalogs as at April 2018, which clearly depicts a substantial increase of 10 per cent on the previous year.
The UK has said that CoP provide safeguards against active recruitment from the 47 countries on the World Health Organization Workforce Support and Safeguards list.
A look at the recently updated list of the CoP showed that the 47 countries included in it are set out in such a way that the UK health and social care employers can ethically recruit from overseas.
The statement which is included in the CoP and published by the UK Department of Health and Social Care, is intended to help facilitate the target of the UK of providing at least 50,000 more nurses by the end of the year 2024.
Furthermore, UK’s announcement of the suspension said it would collaborate with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) advice on credible recruitment to encourage beneficial, fair and endurable global recruitment practices, expanding that the UK will bolster its ethical approach to the international recruitment of health and care workers.
The UK disclosed that the new protocol pertains to the WHO Health Workforce Support and safeguard list 2020 of 47 countries where active recruitment can no longer be embarked upon. This, it said, replaces the earlier UK-held list of 152 nations, and removes complications which could result from the UK using a different roster of nations.
Moreover, it instructed that UK recruiters are not authorized to actively recruit from these countries except there is a government to government treaty in place for management recruitment.
According to the UK, the CoP, lays out the procedures of how the UK can labour collaboratively with governments from all over the globe, which would also form coalitions to profit health and social care workers, their country of origin, and the UK as well.
It said in the statement: “The UK has updated its code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care staff to align with the World Health Organization (WHO), widening the global market from which the UK can ethically recruit. This will provide increasing numbers of international staff with the opportunity to come and work in the UK’s health and social care sectors to deliver world-class care.”
According to the list, the affected countries include Nigeria UK doctors, Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, the Congo Democratic Republic of, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, among others.
It remains to be seen what impact this policy change by the UK government would have on the movement of doctors over the years from Nigeria to the UK (Nigeria UK doctors). This has been going on for a number of years steadily.