Victor Akuma

last updated Wed, Apr 12, 2023 6:46 AM

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Why the UK wants to stop the recruitment of healthcare workers from Nigeria, 38 other African countries

By Victor Akuma
| Updated 06:46 12/04/2023
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Nigeria and 38 other African countries have been listed by the United Kingdom under its Code of Practice red list.

The UK government said the list is based upon the World Health Organisation Workforce Support and Safeguard list, and WHO's Global Code implementation 2023. 

Part of the reasons given for the implementation of the code is to help the listed nations to have a robust healthcare system, rather than have their best brains in the sector leave the country for greener pastures in the UK.

The report states that 'The countries listed have a UHC Service Coverage Index that is lower than 50 and a density of doctors, nurses, and midwives that is below the global median (48.6 per 10,000 population)."

The statement also reveals that no active recruitment will be undertaken from countries on the red list by UK health or social care employing organizations, recruitment organizations, agencies, collaborations, and contracting bodies. 

It however noted that the list doesn’t prevent "individual health and social care personnel from independently applying to health and social care employers for employment in the UK, of their own accord and without being targeted by a third party, such as a recruitment agency or employer (known as a direct application).

"Health and social care employers may consider direct applications from an individual resident in a country on the red list if that individual is making an application on their own behalf and not using a third party, such as a recruitment organization, agency or collaboration," the UK government added. 

The statement also read, “In determining the country that an international candidate is applying from, health and social care employers should consider the applicant’s country of residence and not their nationality.”

Another condition allowed by the UK government is a 'government-to-government agreement'.

"Government-to-government agreements may be signed by the UK government with partner countries to support managed recruitment activities and ensure they are undertaken in compliance with the terms of that agreement.

“When a government-to-government agreement is signed with a red-listed country, it is moved to the amber country list.”

Amber countries have been defined by the UK as countries that have entered an agreement with the UK government, whether it is among the red-listed countries or not. Kenya currently falls in this category, even when the country is among the red-listed countries. 

Red List Countries

Among the 54 red-listed countries, the majority are in Africa (39), while others are made up of countries in Oceania and Asia. 

Find the full list below:

Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Federated States of, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Timor, Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Tanzania, United Republic of Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen, Republic of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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