International recruitment of health personnel: How to do it, if not by stealing

MMS Round Table 2

Medicus Mundi Switzerland & Medicus Mundi International


Thursday, 24th September 2009
3.15 – 5.15 pm
followed by an aperitif

Bern: Swiss Red Cross, Rainmattstrasse 10

Organized by Medicus Mundi Switzerland and the Medicus Mundi International Network

Rich countries recruit directly or indirectly qualified staff from low and middle income countries in order to secure their health care systems. In the countries of origin, the international migration of health workers often has a negative impact, deepening the crisis of the national health system. In order to address this challenge and to set some international standards and guidelines, the World Health Organization is developing a global code of practice of international recruitment of health workers*.

In stakeholder consultations and in the regional WHO meetings (Europe: September 2009), the WHO members and the international community are invited to contribute to the development of the international code of practice – and to develop own, regional or national guidelines.

The members of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland expect the Swiss government and administration (mainly the Federal Office for Health and the Swiss Development Cooperation) to play an active and positive role in this process, and to develop clear and constructive positions and policies in the key issues related to health workforce migration such as:
• Destination countries of workforce migration should strive to create a self-sufficient national health workforce and work toward establishing effective health workforce planning that will reduce or even preclude their need to recruit migrant health personnel.
• Destination countries of workforce migration must compensate the value of transferred wealth via direct financial and technical support to the affected countries and health systems. This support should clearly contribute to a reduction in the push factors in order to make it more attractive for health workers to stay in their respective countries.


Round of introduction


Kaspar Wyss, Swiss Tropical Institute:
Introduction to the global code of practice and the two key issues of self-sufficiency and compensation

Thomas Schwarz, Medicus Mundi International:
Position of Medicus Mundi International related to the globe code of practice and the two key issues (statement submitted to the September session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe)

Discussion with with Gaudenz Silberschmidt, director of the International Affairs Division of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, and a representative of Swiss Development Cooperation and participants from Switzerland and other European countries (members of the MMI Network).



Download of the programme: Invitation

Venue: Bern: Swiss Red Cross, Rainmattstrasse 10 (Map)

Language: English – no translation available

Registration deadline: 20 September 2009 (e-mail or phone call)

Contact and further information:
Martin Leschhorn Strebel: E-Mail to Martin Leschhorn Strebel
or Thomas Schwarz: E-Mail to Thomas Schwarz

Phone: ++41 (0)61 383 18 10

* Health workforce migration and retention: