Challenges for WHO code on international recruitmentBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1486 (Published 29 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1486
All rapid responses
Is it ironic or just telling that on the very same BMJ.com webpage as
James Buchan's short article on Challenges for WHO code on international
recruitment  we see an advert recruiting overseas doctors to the UK?
The advert asks: "Want to work in the UK? Click here for jobs that may be
suitable for application by non-UK or non-EEA doctors." Some of the
target audience of this advert will be the very doctors so very much
needed in countries of the South.
When we talk about global migration of doctors we must bear in mind
that this phenomenon is neither new nor always 'bad'. First, some
elements of the current doctor migration are no different from Scottish
doctors going to study and work in Leiden, Padua or Heidelberg centuries
ago. Secondly, going somewhere else can be beneficial for the development
of individual doctors and for medicine in general. Thus doctors from
developing countries coming to the UK or the USA to learn new techniques
and skills which are not available at home is beneficial, the problem here
occurs when large proportions of these doctors do not return home.
The active recruitment of doctors by developed countries should be
seen separate from the above and we should treat it probably as much an
economic as a moral issue.
Edwin van Teijlingen
1. Buchan, J. Challenges for WHO code on international recruitment BMJ
Economic migrant from the Netherlands living and working in the UK
Competing interests: No competing interests