Medical Migration Between the Human Right to Health and Freedom of Movement<sup>1</sup>

Kollar Eszter

in Health Inequalities and Global Justice

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748646920
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676682 | DOI:
Medical Migration Between the Human Right to Health and Freedom of Movement1

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Medical migration, the mass movement of medical professionals from the developing to the developed world, is widely seen as one of the most profound problems facing health systems in the poorest countries of the world. Skilled health-workers leave high disease burden areas with acute staff shortages in order to serve patients in low disease burden regions that are already well equipped. The result of medical migration is deepening global inequalities in health. The relationship between medical migration and human rights has become a central concern in the discussions. On the one hand, rich nations actively recruiting doctors and nurses from poor and sick regions are said to be violating the human right to health of the poor. On the other hand, the migrants claim their (human) right to freedom of movement; a claim that is further supported by two instrumental claims concerning the developmental effects of remittances and of service sector liberalization. The paper unfolds the content of these allegedly conflicting claims in order to clarify the normative considerations at stake and to see in what sense can global health deprivations constitute constraints on medical professionals’ freedom of movement.

Keywords: medical migration; brain drain; human right to health; freedom of movement

Chapter.  6269 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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