Chapter

Achieving a Self‐Sufficient Workforce? The Utilization of Migrant Labour in Healthcare

Stephen Bach

in Who Needs Migrant Workers?

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580590
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595257 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580590.003.0004
Achieving a Self‐Sufficient Workforce? The Utilization of Migrant Labour in Healthcare

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This chapter examines the distinctive features of migration and labour shortages in the health sector, concentrating on medical and nursing staff. Mobility is strongly influenced by the regulatory frameworks of individual governments and remains politically sensitive. Employer demand in the sector is shaped by the dominance of the professions and employers do not have a preference for migrant labour, but use it to address skill shortages. Labour supply is regulated by government via training commissions and international recruitment has been an important mechanism to boost rapidly labour supply, increasing reliance on immigrant labour. Workforce planning has been poor and better monitoring of the emigration of health professionals would help develop a more well‐informed understanding of migration trends. The aggregate picture of no serious recruitment and retention problems disguises continuing difficulties that employers confront in recruiting and retaining staff in particular specialisms, grades, and locations.

Keywords: nurse; doctor; shortage; migration; health sector; workforce planning

Chapter.  13413 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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