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Addressing the global issue

Let's address some of the negative outcomes of shortages, which are not limited to one country or region.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0

Nursing shortages affect all countries in one way or another.

The 2010 WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel is an initiative which aims to address some of the negative outcomes of shortages.

The Global Code of Practice aims to:

establish and promote voluntary principles and practices for the ethical international recruitment of health personnel and to facilitate the strengthening of health systems … in order to to address geographical mal-distribution and improve retention in underserved areas.
The code has four objectives supporting its overall aim to ensure workforce development and health systems sustainability:
  • discourages active recruitment from countries with critical health workforce shortages
  • encourages countries to develop sustainable health systems that would allow, as far as possible, for domestic health services demand to be met by domestic human resources
  • focuses on policies and incentives which support the retention of health workers in underserved areas
  • emphasises the importance of a of a multi-sectoral approach in addressing the issue

Your task

Access the WHO (2016) infographic reporting on the results of the initiative so far.
What are some of the outcomes of this initiative? Based on the report, do you think the code is achieving its goal?

Further reading

World Health Organization (2016) Global Health Observation Data: Health Workforce [online] available from [18 April 2018]

World Health Organization (2010) WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel [online] available from: [26 April 2018]

© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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