The International Council of Nurses has slammed the recruitment of nurses and other health workers from poorer countries, noting that it was just a “quick fix for its own underinvestment in the profession and a serious cause of concern.”
The global nurses’ federation, in a statement on Monday, said wealthier countries “recruiting nursing staff from some of the world’s most fragile health systems was extremely hard to justify and perhaps should be stopped entirely.”
The ICN was emphatic in its assertion that seven or eight wealthy countries, notably Britain, the United States and Canada, were driving around 80 percent of international nurse migration, to try to address their domestic shortages.
While addressing a press conference organised by the UN correspondents association in Geneva, ICN chief executive Howard Catton, said the federation was “very concerned by some of the examples” set by the richer nations.
Catton said talks between Britain and Ghana whereby London will pay the West African country £1,000 ($1,240) per nurse recruited, did not recognise the true value of the profession.
“That, in no way, goes anywhere near recognising the true value of the training costs of that nurse, or the loss to the Ghanaian health system,” he said.
“I’d expect to see £50,000 as a price to compensate for that experience at least, if not more. £1,000 is woefully short.
“If you’re a government who is relying on international recruitment as a quick fix to shortages because you haven’t invested enough, be very, very careful about that.”
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