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The UK government has updated its “Code of Practice” to prohibit active recruitment of health workers from Nigeria and 54 other countries on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) health workforce support and safeguards list.
This development, according to the UK, is on the premise that Nigeria has been included in the list of 55 countries facing a critical shortage of health workers.
The code 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.”
“Countries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards list are graded red in the code. If a government-to-government agreement is put in place between a partner country, which restricts recruiting organisations to the terms of the agreement, the country is added to the amber list.”
The amber countries where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of the government-to-government agreement are Kenya and Nepal.
A bill has also been passed in Nigeria’s House of Representatives to prevent medical and dental practitioners from being granted full licences until they have worked for a minimum of five years in Nigeria.
The bill was aimed at addressing the increasing number of medical doctors leaving Nigeria for greener pastures.
The sponsor of the bill, Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, said it was only fair for medical practitioners, who enjoyed taxpayer’s subsidies on their training, to “give back to the society.”
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