International Mobility of Health Professionals
Brain Drain or Brain Exchange?

Stephen Bach, Reader in Employment Relations and Management, Department of 
Management, King’s College, University of London, UK.

UNU-WIDER Research Paper No. 2006/82 -  August 2006

Available online PDF file [29p.] at: 


‘”……..The consequences of health professional mobility have become a 
prominent public policy concern. This paper considers trends in mobility 
amongst doctors and nurses and the consequences for health systems. Policy 
responses are shifting from a reactive agenda that focuses on stemming 
migration towards a more active agenda of managed migration that benefits 
source and destination countries. Improved working conditions and 
effective human resource practice are required to encourage retention of 
health professionals in both source and destination countries…..”

This study has been prepared within the UNU-WIDER project on the 
International Mobility of Talent. UNU-WIDER especially thanks ECLAC 
(United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, 
Santiago, Chile) UNU-WIDER also acknowledges with thanks the financial 
contributions to its research programme by the governments of Denmark 
(Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign 
Affairs), Norway (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish 
International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom 
(Department for International Development).

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