The international nurses’ organization expressed grave alarm on Monday over Britain’s decision to hire nurses from less developed nations as a temporary solution to its own underinvestment in the field.
According to The Punch, the International Council of Nurses stated that it was exceedingly difficult to justify and may even be best to completely block wealthier countries from hiring nursing professionals from some of the world’s most vulnerable health systems.
According to the ICN, seven or eight wealthy nations, including Britain, the United States, and Canada, account for over 80% of nurse migration abroad in an effort to fill internal shortages.
At a press conference hosted by the UN correspondents organization in Geneva, ICN CEO Howard Catton stated, “We are really worried by some of the cases.”
He mentioned negotiations between Ghana and Britain in which London agreed to pay Accra £1,240 ($1,240) for each nurse hired.
He said, “That in no way recognizes the full worth of the training costs of that nurse, or the loss to the Ghanaian health system.
Considering experience in the industry, “I’d anticipate seeing £50,000 as a price to at least cover that experience, if not more. Sadly, £1,000 is insufficient.
The ICN claimed that, contrary to the “myth” that only newly qualified nurses were being recruited, foreign recruitment was primarily focused on experienced, specialized nurses.
“That results in a significant knowledge gap in nations that cannot afford to lose their more seasoned nurses. That has actually been a major worry,” said Pamela Cipriano, president of ICN.
“You really have a brain drain when you take those nurses out of the clinical environment.”
She said that nations needed to have a strategy for creating enough nurses on their own.
She stated, “We’re appealing to the ethics of nations that health is a global concern.
“We don’t want to see certain nations prosper while others suffer.”
Catton also emphasized the agreement between the governments of Britain and Nepal over nurse recruitment, pointing out that whereas the ratio of nurses to the British population is roughly 80 to 10,000, it is closer to 20 in Nepal.
When it comes to access to healthcare, he noted, “that is already taking nurses from a very low basis.”
“That kind of recruitment could indicate that a service isn’t even offered,”
Be very, very careful about that, Catton advised, if you’re a government depending on international hiring as a temporary solution to shortages because you haven’t invested enough.
“There is a very compelling case that… there shouldn’t be any recruitment,” he said, referring to the 45 or 50 nations that are most at risk worldwide.
28 million nurses worldwide are represented by the ICN, a federation of more than 130 national nursing associations with headquarters in Geneva.