**Rich Countries Lure Health Workers From Low-Income Nations to Fight Shortages**
**Huge pay incentives and immigration fast-tracks are leading many to leave countries whose health systems urgently need their expertise.**
**By Stephanie Nolen, The New York Times, Jan. 24, 2022**
**Canada is among numerous wealthy nations, including the United States and United Kingdom, that are aggressively recruiting medical workers from the developing world to replenish a health care work force drastically depleted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The urgency and strong pull from high-income nations — including countries like Germany and Finland, which had not previously recruited health workers from abroad — has upended migration patterns and raised new questions about the ethics of recruitment from countries with weak health systems during a pandemic....**
**European and North American countries have created dedicated immigration fast-tracks for health care workers, and have expedited processes to recognize foreign qualifications....** [end quote]
Many of these health care workers are educated in their home countries at public expense, only to depart for a much higher-paying job in a rich country.
In 2010, the member states of the W.H.O. adopted a Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel, driven in part by an exodus of nurses and doctors from nations in sub-Saharan Africa ravaged by AIDS. This appears to be honored more in the breach than in practice.
The migrating nurses get higher pay for themselves and also better opportunities for their children who are educated in their new countries.
It’s a win-win for the rich countries and the migrants. The losers are the poor countries which lose their most experienced personnel.
This will probably be a model for many specialties as the working population of the rich countries stagnates in proportion to the non-working population. This week, the U.S. changed the immigration rules to attract STEM immigrants.