WHO Seeks Comments on Health Worker Recruitment Code

The World Health Organization on Monday began a 30-day series of Web-based public hearings to facilitate the development of a WHO code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel. Member States, health workers, recruiters, employers, academic and research institutions, health professional organizations, and other relevant organizations may comment on the draft code through Sept. 30.

Geneva, Switzerland-based WHO says migration of health workers has significantly increased and has involved more countries in recent decades. "Health worker migration from those countries that are already experiencing a crisis in their health workforce is further weakening already fragile health systems and presents a serious impediment to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals," according to information posted at www.who.int/hrh/public_hearing/announcement/en/index.html, where the draft and other materials are available.

The draft code of practice will be discussed by WHO's Executive Board at its session in January 2009. Contributions may be submitted in English or any of the other five official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) via the Web site or by fax to +41 22 791 47 47). Submissions should not exceed 1,000 words; faxed submissions must be accompanied by the cover sheet.

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