Health work recruitment in Europe and beyond – Still a crucial matter in Global Health

Panel discussion at the Sidelines of World Health Summit 2022

by the dpgg (German Platform for Global Health), vdää* (Association of Democratic Physicians) and the Pillars of Health coalition.

Monday, 17.10. 2022, 12.30 – 14.00h (lunch break at WHS)

Online session (via Zoom webinar- will be recorded)

Here you can watch the recording:

Access code: b^+6x.uB


To deliver good quality health care, health systems are relying heavily on skilled , well equipped and remunerated Health professionals. Since in many high income countries of the European region and beyond there is a lack of decent employment and trained workforce, international recruitment appears to be the answer for countries that can offer a relatively higher salary. This phenomenon adds to the uneven distribution of health workforce, both in the European region and globally, following economic imbalances.

Twelve years ago, in 2010, the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel was negotiated and adopted, with the purpose to mitigate these negative effects and hold actively recruiting countries to account. In the following years, rich countries like Germany have  expanded their recruitment strategies to mitigate a growing lack of health workforce, while several countries, such as Nigeria and Ghana, struggle with doctors and nurses leaving their health systems.

Left behind are underserved communities, where qualified health workers are missed sorely.

In 2022, international health workforce recruitment remains an urgent but neglected matter in Global Health, that needs to be addressed!

In this online event, questions on the effects of excessive recruitment, the adherence of European countries to the WHO Code of Practice and visions and demands for just labour migration governance  and  regulation are discussed.


Welcome and introduction: Karen Spannenkrebs, vdää, Pillars of health Coalition focal point Germany, DPGG
Moderator: Remco van de Pas, Centre for Planetary Health Policy


Aysel Rahimli , Wemos, Netherlands, Coordinator of Pillars of Health and AHEAD projects; former consultant in Health Workforce unit of WHO EMRO, regional office in Cairo.
on the mobility of health workers across EU’s single market environment.

Abi Badru, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Nigerian nurses and midwives union; Public Services International Project Coordinator for English-Speaking West Africa
on dangers of HRH recruitment for health systems of source countries and the potential role of unions

Prof. Annette Schrauwen, University of Amsterdam, Professor in European Integration, in particular citizenship law and history.
on possibilities and difficulties in the regulation of Health worker recruitment

We aim to give a stage to critical voices on a neglected topic, that is missing in the official WHS programme.


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