Developing world doctor shortages

#1 (external - login to view)


Doctor Shortage Leaves World Vulnerable to Outbreaks, WHO Says

A shortage of nurses, doctors and midwives leaves many countries vulnerable to new global disease outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization, which is tracking a virus that may spark a flu pandemic.

The WHO has estimated that about 35 million people will die of chronic diseases this year. This compares with a projected 2.83 million deaths from HIV/AIDS, 1.61 million from tuberculosis and 883,000 from malaria.

Those infections have caused ``unprecedented reversals'' in life expectancies in some African nations, which, the WHO says, have been cut to half those in industrialized economies.

Fatalities from illnesses such as heart problems, stroke and cancer, which account for 60 percent of all deaths, are projected to increase by 17 percent by 2015.

The usefulness of drugs and medical equipment to tackle chronic diseases and outbreaks depends on the skills of nurses and doctors on the ground, where they can innovate, reduce waste and address inefficiencies, the report said.

``The solution is not straightforward, and there is no consensus on how to proceed,'' writes Lee Jong-Wook, the WHO's director general in the report.

There is a solution. Stop countries like Canada from raiding the health profession pool of developing countries.
Hear hear!
Canada doesn't poach that many health care professionals from Africa or South America or poorer countries in Asia other than the Phillippines. It is EXTREMELY difficult for them to get to Canada and have their training accepted to register as nurses (it often has to do with the generalist vs specialist training, even the UK nurses have this problem). To register as doctors here they often need to redo a residency. Most of our foreign nurses come from the Phillippines and they purposely train large number in order to export them (the money they send home would be sorely missed if it dried up!). They tailor their training to match ours and it's done in English.

The UK actually stopped recruiting from third world countries a few years ago, though nurses who apply on their own aren't barred. I don't know a single health system in Canada that goes to Africa to recruit. It just doesn't make sense for them financially. They are much better off trying to get nurses from the Phillippines or those already in Canada.

I don't approve any measures that limit where a person can live. If they want to immigrate to Canada and can become productive members of our society, I welcome them.
Stats Canada has posted a couple of reports of health professionals working at menial jobs as their credentials are not recognized in Canada. The ratio of physician loss between Canada and the US is 19-1. The Canadian government feels it can correct this imbalance by recruiting abroad. They have been very explicit about it.

The Harper government is concerned about brain drain and so we will have to see where this goes.
Look at the number of residency programs. Recruiting from abroad is not going to do it. The number of residencies for foreign doctors is so small it isn't even a drop in the ocean. I think BC used to have less than 10, not they have a little more than 20 or something. The only places abroad from which doctors can immigrate fairly easily are English speaking, like the UK, Ireland, Australia, NZ, South Africa... Other than South Africa, those countries aren't the ones being spoken about in the WHO report. It isn't like Healthmatch BC is sending planes to pick up docs and nurses from Nigeria or the Sudan or Uganda.
OT, but my favorite doc of all time was from South Africa. If anyone needs a referal to a great OB/GYN in Vancouver, let me know
no new posts