There is strong evidence that progress in health of many countries will not be possible without the workforce, which is essential for strong national health systems. There are widespread shortages and the World Health Report of 2006 estimates a gap of 4.2 million health workers.
Uneven distribution of health workers deprives many groups of essential and life-saving health services. International migration of health workers to developed countries has worsened shortages in many developing countries. The workforce crisis needs to be addressed if health systems are to be strengthened and their collapse averted.
We help member countries manage health workforce migration through the Commonwealth Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health Workers. This Code has been widely distributed; we continue to work with countries to raise awareness of the code and to deepen its implementation.
Our work focuses on: