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Aid, restitution and international fiscal redistribution in health care: implications of health professionals' migration

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  • Maureen Mackintosh

    (Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK)

  • Kwadwo Mensah

    (Medical doctor and independent researcher, Kumasi, Ghana)

  • Leroi Henry

    (Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, UK)

  • Michael Rowson

    (Independent consultant, London, UK)

Abstract

High and sustained levels of migration of health professionals from labour-short health services in low-income countries to the health services of rich countries create a perverse subsidy from poor to rich, flowing across national boundaries. This subsidy worsens international inequality, and creates an obligation, both ethical and legal, for the payment of restitution. Drawing on the case of the migration of health professionals from Sub-Saharan Africa to the UK, we argue that this obligation in turn constitutes an opportunity to shift development aid relationships away from a framework of charity towards a less neo-colonial commitment to progressive international fiscal transfers. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Maureen Mackintosh & Kwadwo Mensah & Leroi Henry & Michael Rowson, 2006. "Aid, restitution and international fiscal redistribution in health care: implications of health professionals' migration," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(6), pages 757-770.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:18:y:2006:i:6:p:757-770
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1312
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Vernon, 2003. "Against Restitution," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 51, pages 542-557, October.
    2. Irene Hardill & Sandra Macdonald, 2000. "Skilled International Migration: The Experience of Nurses in the UK," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(7), pages 681-692, October.
    3. Micklewright, John & Wright, Anna, 2003. "Private Donations for International Development," WIDER Working Paper Series 082, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & van der Burg, Hattem & Calonge, Samuel & Christiansen, Terkel & Citoni, Guido & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Mike & Gross, Lorna & Hakinnen, Unto, 1999. "Equity in the finance of health care: some further international comparisons1," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 263-290, June.
    5. Hickey, Sam & Bracking, Sarah, 2005. "Exploring the Politics of Chronic Poverty: From Representation to a Politics of Justice?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 851-865, June.
    6. Karuna Gomanee & Sourafel Girma & Oliver Morrissey, 2005. "Aid, public spending and human welfare: evidence from quantile regressions," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 299-309.
    7. Mihir A. Desai & Devesh Kapur & John McHale, 2004. "Sharing the Spoils: Taxing International Human Capital Flows," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(5), pages 663-693, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robin Gauld & Simon Horsburgh, 2016. "Does a host country capture knowledge of migrant doctors and how might it? A study of UK doctors in New Zealand," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(1), pages 1-8, January.
    2. Connell, John & Zurn, Pascal & Stilwell, Barbara & Awases, Magda & Braichet, Jean-Marc, 2007. "Sub-Saharan Africa: Beyond the health worker migration crisis?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(9), pages 1876-1891, May.
    3. Robin Gauld & Simon Horsburgh, 2016. "Does a host country capture knowledge of migrant doctors and how might it? A study of UK doctors in New Zealand," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(1), pages 1-8, January.

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