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Migration of Health Workers: The UK Perspective to 2006

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  • James Buchan
  • Susanna Baldwin
  • Miranda Munro

Abstract

The UK has a population of 56 million, and most healthcare is delivered through the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS employs more than one million staff. In the late 1990s shortages of skilled staff were a main obstacle to improving services in the NHS. The response by government was to “grow” the NHS workforce. There are four main policy options to “grow” the workforce- increase home based training; improve retention rates of current staff (to reduce need to recruit additional staff); improve “return” of staff currently not practising; and internationally recruit health professionals. International recruitment was used to achieve rapid growth in the NHS workforce. It was facilitated by fast tracking work permits for health professionals, by targeting recruits in specified countries, using specialist recruitment agencies, and by co-ordinating local level recruitment within the NHS (...) Le Royaume-Uni compte 56 millions d’habitants, et en matière de santé, la plupart des prestations y sont fournies par le biais du National Health Service (NHS). Le NHS emploie plus d’un million d’agents. A la fin des années 90, un des principaux obstacles à l’amélioration du NHS était la pénurie de personnel qualifié. La réponse du gouvernement a consisté à « étoffer » les effectifs du NHS. Pour ce faire, les pouvoirs publics disposent de quatre grands moyens d’action possibles : développer la formation dispensée dans le pays même, améliorer le taux de maintien des agents en poste (ce qui permet de diminuer les besoins en recrutement de nouveaux agents), convaincre les agents ayant cessé d’exercer pour le moment de « reprendre du service », et recruter des professionnels de la santé à l’international. Soucieux d’étoffer rapidement ses effectifs, le NHS a eu recours au recrutement à l’international. L’opération a été facilitée par l’application de la procédure de traitement accéléré des demandes de permis de travail pour les professionnels de la santé, par le ciblage des personnes à recruter dans des pays précis (en faisant appel à des agences de recrutement spécialisées), et par la coordination du recrutement au niveau local au sein du NHS (...)

Suggested Citation

  • James Buchan & Susanna Baldwin & Miranda Munro, 2008. "Migration of Health Workers: The UK Perspective to 2006," OECD Health Working Papers 38, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaad:38-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/228550573624
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