Health Workers’ Recruitment: UK Places Nigeria, Others On Red...

Health Workers’ Recruitment: UK Places Nigeria, Others On Red List


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Nigeria is one of the countries placed on the red list by the United Kingdom (UK) as nation that should not be engaged in term of health and social care recruitment.

Health workers | Unsplash

It would be recalled that few weeks ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed 55 countries, including Nigeria, facing the most pressing health workforce challenges related to Universal Health Coverage.

The United Kingdom government said Nigeria and other countries on the red list should not be actively targeted for recruitment by health and social care employers unless there was a government-to-government agreement.


According to the information obtained from the website of the UK government titled ‘Code of Practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel in England,’ it said country identification follows the meth­odology contained in the 10-year review of relevance and effective­ness of the WHO global code of practice on the International Re­cruitment of Health Personnel. ­

“Consistent with the WHO Global Code of Practice princi­ples and articles, and as explicit­ly called for by the WHO Global Code of Practice 10-year review, the listed countries should be prioritised for health personnel development and health sys­tem-related support, provided with safeguards that discourage active international recruitment of health personnel.

“Countries on the list should not be actively targeted for re­cruitment by health and social care employers, recruitment organisations, agencies, collabo­rations, or contracting bodies un­less there is a government-to-gov­ernment agreement in place to allow managed recruitment undertaken strictly in com­pliance with the terms of that agreement.

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“Countries on the WHO Health Workforce Support and Safeguards list are graded red in the code. If a government-to-gov­ernment agreement is put in place between a partner country which restricts recruiting organisations to the terms of the agreement, the country is added to the amber list.”

It said if a country was not on the red or amber list, then it is green.

The amber countries where international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of the govern­ment-to-government agreement are Kenya and Nepal.

It added that active re­cruitment is permitted from green-graded countries where there is a government-to-govern­ment agreement with the UK in place for international health and care workforce recruitment.

“Green-graded countries without a government-to-gov­ernment agreement with the UK are not published in the code of practice for England.

“The government-to-govern­ment agreement may set pa­rameters, implemented by the country of origin, for how UK employers, contracting bodies, recruitment organisations, agen­cies, and collaborations recruit. These organisations are encour­aged to recruit on the terms of the government-to-government agreement.

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“The green country list will be updated as new govern­ment-to-government agreements are signed with the UK. It is recommended employers, con­tracting bodies, recruitment or­ganisations, agencies, and collab­orations regularly check the list for updates prior to embarking on any recruitment campaign.

“Green-graded countries with a government-to-govern­ment agreement for managing international health and care workforce recruitment are In­dia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka,” it added.

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