The United Kingdom has suspended the recruitment of health workers from Nigeria in an attempt to prevent a major healthcare crisis in the West African nation.
The World Health Organization has placed Nigeria among 55 countries with significant health workforce challenges.
The UK government has now placed Nigeria on the red list of nations not to be targeted for recruitment.
Health and social care employers have now been advised not to actively seek workers from these countries.
The UK government directive is highlighted in a statement on the government’s website titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and social care personnel in England.’
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“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…” part of the statement reads.
“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,” it added.
The only exception would be in instances where the UK government and its Nigerian counterpart have gone into an agreement for such recruitments.
There are 11,055 Nigerian-trained doctors in the UK, according to the UK General Medical Council’s data.
Nigeria has the third-highest number of foreign doctors working in the United Kingdom.
Zimbabwe has announced plans to pass a law that would criminalise the recruitment of health workers by other countries.
The country wants to stop the brain drain in the health sector and believes this move could be a game changer.