October 1, 2008
Europe Woos Health Workers From Poor Nations
A deficit of health care workers within developing countries can partially be blamed on the West, Reuters reports.
In an effort to bolster their own flailing health systems, many developed countries have relaxed immigration regulations to recruit highly skilled migrants, such as hospital personnel. As a result, doctors and nurses from less developed areas are more inclined to relocate to western nations.
Aid agencies have warned that the European Union blue card—a combination residence permit and work visa—will worsen the health care systems of countries that suffer from diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis at an alarming rate. Africa suffers the highest rate of HIV infections but only 3 percent of the world’s health care workers live there.
World Health Organization (WHO) experts suggested that international aid should be used to increase doctor’s salaries and strengthen recruitment and training. They also recommended using “telemedicine,” where African hospitals are linked to experts and laboratories abroad.
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