‘Brain drain’ amongst health workers in the UK not being recognised

The fight against the mental fatigue of doctors and other health workers from growing economies has made it hard for these nations to combat the spread of different diseases, mainly thanks to Britain’s reluctance in partly supporting ‘brain drain’.

According to Health Poverty Action, many of the developed nations take advantage of doctors, midwifes and nurses from poor economies by paying them less wages, which in turn translate to saving of billions of pounds annually.

The UK has been one of the major beneficiaries in all this exploitation. For instance, of the doctors who have affiliation to the General Medical Council, one third of them are not trained within the UK.

Additionally, one quarter of them received their training outside Europe. The report also noted that the expected benefits that would otherwise have been obtained by growing nations from the international aid they receive has been dwarfed by the increased brain drain in this sector.

Many of the immigrants come from Africa, whose existing health workforce stands at a mere 3% of the world’s medical professionals. However, Africa accounts for about a quarter of the diseases cases that are reported worldwide.

According to Martin Drewry who is the HPA director, there is already a critical shortage of health workers globally, which has to be addressed immediately. WHO estimates the number of health professionals who are needed to make this a good health available to all to be around four million.

The high demand for health workers in the UK combined with the significantly high wages, which go with higher quality life has been one of the greatest incentives for professionals from developing nations to move to the UK. Some of the worst hit countries are India, Nigeria, Ghana and Pakistan.

You need less than £270,000 to train an individual to attain the level of a junior doctor. This translates to about £17bn that is needed to train 60,000 foreign graduates who usually register with GMC to a Junior Doctor level. Of all the UK nurses and midwives, 85,000 received their first medical training from abroad, which means one in every seven is a foreigner.