May 20, 2024

The Government of the United Kingdom has resolved to stop considering Nigerian health workers for recruitment as the country placed Nigeria on the red list of countries that should not be targeted for recruitment.

This is coming one month after the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed Nigeria among 55 countries that are facing pressing health workforce challenges.

These countries according to the UK government will no longer be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers unless there is a government-to-government agreement.

This is expressed in a statement on the website of the UK government titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and social care personnel in England’.

The statement reads in part, “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 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.

“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 would be recalled that in 2021, the UK suspended the recruitment of healthcare workers from Nigeria and 46 other countries.

The country noted that the increasing scale of health and social care worker migration from low and lower-middle-income countries threatens the achievement of their nation’s health and social care goals, ThePunch reports.

Currently, there are 11,055 Nigerian-trained doctors in the UK, according to the UK General Medical Council’s data.

Nigeria has the third-highest number of foreign doctors working in the United Kingdom. The top countries are India and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, a bill aimed at curbing the exodus of Nigerian-trained medical and dental practitioners to foreign countries has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill sponsored by Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, proposes that Nigeria-trained medical or dental practitioners must work in the country for a minimum of five years before they are granted full licenses.

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