The United Kingdom has stopped ‘Active recruitment’ of skilled and experienced health and social care personnel from Nigeria and 54 other countries globally, mostly African nations.

This comes one month after the World Health Organisation ‘Workforce Support and Safeguard List 2023‘, which listed 55 countries, including Nigeria, facing the most pressing health workforce challenges related to Universal Health Coverage.

Based on this, In its updated Code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel in England, the UK placed Nigeria and the other countries on its red list.

It says;

There must be no active international recruitment from countries on the red list, unless there is an explicit government-to-government agreement to support managed recruitment activities that are undertaken strictly in compliance with the terms of that agreement,” the UK said in its updated policy on social and health workers released in March, 2023.

The British Government, however, said the list doesn’t prevent individual health and social care personnel from independently applying to health and social care employers for employment in the UK, “of their own accord and without being targeted by a third party, such as a recruitment agency or employer, known as a direct application”.

The UK also said the restrictions do not apply to health workers from countries on the red list but who do not reside there or in another red list country.

The House of Representatives recently passed for second reading, the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Amendment Bill, 2022, sponsored by Hon. Ganiyu Johnson of APC, Lagos State, which seeks to compel Nigerian-trained doctors, nurses and other health workers from emigrating the country to work in Europe and other parts of the world till they have served the country for five years.

Story: Christy Dung