Recruitment by wealthy countries of health personnel from developing countries is threatening the viability of crucial health programs in poor countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
Australia has participated in this “brain drain”, although the extent and impact of this on different countries has not been adequately assessed.
Australia depends on overseas-trained doctors to fill vacancies in public hospitals and private practice, particularly in rural and outer suburban areas where locally trained professionals are reluctant to work.
Australia should adopt national strategies to minimise harm and maximise benefits of skills migration; concerted international action will also be required.
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