The United Kingdom Government has barred active recruitment of health workers from Nigeria by health and social care employers in UK.
This is coming one month after the World Health Organisation listed 55 countries, including Nigeria facing the most pressing health workforce challenges related to Universal Health Coverage.
The United Kingdom Government said Nigeria and other countries on the red list should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers unless there was a government-to-government agreement.
According to the information obtained from the website of the UK government titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and social care personnel in England,’ it said country identification follows the methodology contained in the 10-year review of relevance and effectiveness of the WHO global code of practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
“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.
“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, provided with safeguards that discourage active international recruitment of health personnel.
“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.”
It said if a country was not on the red or amber list, then it is green.
The amber and red country list does not, however, prevent individual health and social care personnel resident in countries on the list from making a direct application to health and social care employers, but rather without being targeted by a third party, such as a recruitment organisation, agency or recruitment collaboration.
The red countries where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of the government-to-government agreement are Kenya and Nepal.
It added that active recruitment is permitted from green-graded countries where there is a government-to-government agreement with the UK in place for international health and care workforce recruitment.
“Green-graded countries without a government-to-government agreement with the UK are not published in the code of practice for England.
“The government-to-government agreement may set parameters, implemented by the country of origin, for how UK employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations recruit. These organisations are encouraged to recruit on the terms of the government-to-government agreement.
“The green country list will be updated as new government-to-government agreements are signed with the UK. It is recommended employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations regularly check the list for updates prior to embarking on any recruitment campaign.
Green-graded countries with a government-to-government agreement for managing international health and care workforce recruitment are India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka”.