UK to stop recruiting doctors from Nigeria and other developing countries

Obinwannem News UK to stop recruiting doctors from Nigeria and other developing countries

The United Kingdom has initiated a new policy in a bid to stop the recruitment of doctors from Nigeria and other developing countries.

This, however, does not imply a visa ban or a restriction. According to a statement by the UK government titled, ‘UK to strengthen its ethical approach to the international recruitment of health and care workers’ on February 25, 2021, it noted the updated code of practice, would help to meet UK’s target of delivering 50,000 more nurses by 2024. The policy seems to affect 47 countries; especially Nigeria, which has the third largest number of migrant doctors in the UK.

The list also showed that almost all the countries affected are in Africa. It included Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Haiti.

Furthermore, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Yemen, were affected.

The UK said the new policy was in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.

The statement read in part, “To align with the WHO, the new code refers to the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguard List, 2020 of 47 countries where active recruitment can’t be undertaken.

“This replaces the previous UK-held list of 152 countries, and removes confusion which can arise from the UK holding a separate list of countries. UK recruiters are not permitted to actively recruit from these countries unless there is a government to government agreement in place for managed recruitment.”

The report also stated that there were currently over 8,000 Nigerian trained doctors in the UK, based on statistics obtained from the UK General Medical Council, the government body that maintains the country’s official register of medical practitioners. It also ensured that, at least one Nigerian doctor is recruited in the UK daily.

The Deputy Director, Human Resources, at the Federal Ministry of Health, Shakuri Kadiri, had also revealed that the Nigerian health sector recorded an increase in the number of doctors seeking migration from 656 in 2014 to 1,551 in 2018.

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria also put the total number of registered doctors in Nigeria at 74,543 for the country’s population of about 200 million.

Ifesinachi Nnabugwu reporting, Obinwannem News

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