Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Migration of Health Professionals: Boon or Bane?

The migration of health professionals is not an entirely new phenomenon, but the latest wave is producing a more pronounced adverse impact on source countries due to the unusually high number of migrating health professionals.In the Philippines, 85 percent of registered nurses are working abroad. The demand has also spawned a phenomenon unique to the Philippines: doctors are leaving their profession to become nurses.

There is an estimated 4,000 Filipino doctors who are currently enrolled in nursing course. In Fiji, the number of registered nurses leaving for jobs abroad exceeds the number of new nursing graduates. According to Fiji Nursing Association secretary-general Kuini Lutea, the Pacific island produces between 150 to 160 new nursing graduates, but almost 50 percent of these are migrating to other countries.Doctors are also prime labor export. India is currently the top exporter of doctors; there are more Indian doctors in America than in India. The ratio of Indian doctors to American patients is 1:1325, while the ratio of Indian doctors to Indian patients is 1:2400. Pharmacists, medical technologists, and other allied medical professionals are also in demand.


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