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UK Restricts Health Workers Recruitment from Nigeria

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CEM REPORT, HEALTH | The United Kingdom (UK) government has adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) health workforce support and safeguards list.

The list placed Nigeria on the red list of countries that should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers.

The disclosure is contained in the updated information titled, ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel in England,’ obtained from the website of the UK government.


“Consistent with the WHO Global Code of Practice principles and articles, and as explicitly called for by the WHO Global Code of Practice 10-year review, the listed countries should be prioritised for health personnel development and health system-related support, provided with safeguards that discourage active international recruitment of health personnel.

“Countries on the list should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers, recruitment organisations, agencies, collaborations, or contracting bodies unless there is a government-to-government agreement in place to allow managed recruitment undertaken strictly in compliance with the terms of that agreement.”

Conditions for Recruitment

The UK government added that a country on the red list may be moved to the amber list if there is an agreement between both governments.

Furthermore, the government said recruitment is not based on country of origin but rather the country of resident

“Countries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards list are graded red in the code. If a government-to-government agreement is put in place between a partner country, which restricts recruiting organisations to the terms of the agreement, the country is added to the amber list.”

“Ethical recruitment is determined by the country from which the individual is resident, rather than the nationality of the individual or their original country of training”.

“The government-to-government agreement may set parameters, implemented by the country of origin, for how UK employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agencies, and collaborations recruit. These organisations are encouraged to recruit on the terms of the government-to-government agreement.

The disclosure noted that amber countries where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of the government-to-government agreement are Kenya and Nepal.

It added that “green-graded countries with a government-to-government agreement for managing international health and care workforce recruitment are India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.’’

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