Viewpoint: Suing Uganda for ‘Brain Drain’

Monday, February 9, 2015

According to recent data from Uganda’s parliament, the country has 1 doctor per 24,725 people and 1 nurse per 11,000 people, both well below guidelines from the World Health Organization. By contrast, Trinidad and Tobago has 12 doctors and 35 nurses per 10,000 people.

So why is the Ugandan government advertising and recruiting to send more than 250 “highly qualified” health workers to Trinidad?

The Ugandan government is not sending short-term humanitarian aid workers, or even longer-term technical assistance. It’s the middleman, screening and recruiting technically skilled health workers for private sectors jobs in a middle income country.

Ugandan activists believe the recruitment violates the right to health and puts Ugandan lives in jeopardy by depleting the country of much-needed personnel.

A novel legal case filed in December 2014 is set to challenge the government’s action of facilitating the “brain drain.”

The Institute for Public Policy and Research, a Ugandan think tank, is seeking an injunction to stop the recruitment, arguing that it violates international human rights law and Uganda’s constitution, and is an “unauthorized reversal of the national health policy objective of health system strengthening.”

Source: allAfrica (link opens in a new window)

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Health Care
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global health, health care, public health