Brain drain and the public health

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5 Responses

  1. Verlyn Ross says:

    Verlyn Ross owns and operates a website dedicated specifically to providing health and fitness information. It includes a wealth of free articles in which you may have an interest. I invite you to access and freely explore my website.

  2. BRAIN GAIN. Check this out. It illustrates a model for brain-gain without having to reverse emigration

  3. I don’t think concerned Filipinos should be talking about “stopping” brain drain, it is managing it to ameliorate the worst effects (and maximize the benefits if any). The trade-off between institutional and national requirements for trained and experienced health personnel vs. the human right of freedom of movement is a no-brainer. Human rights win, they are absolutely uncompromisable, even for the educated elite whose actions may have negative consequences for the majority like the rural and urban poor.
    The argument summarized in the post doesn’t deny that brain drain has negative consequences, and doesn’t really present any positive consequences. It just points out that there is a correlated causal factor, openness and professional mobility. I won’t argue for isolationism, I think openness is here to stay for better or worse (even if the Cuba model is challenging and surprising). But if the Philippines will have openness and professional mobility, we can have policies to better manage the migration of professionals.
    One is that we should “charge” the countries receiving trained personnel, insisting that they invest back into the remote education system they benefit from. They invest back in their own education systems, they should do the same for the foreign systems where they are beneficiaries. This may be easier to do in some countries than others, U.S. is probably hard because of complicated state health systems, while Britain and Canada should be easier. One problem is the Philippine government actively promotes exporting nurses, so the receiving countries don’t think they owe us anything. But migrating health personnel take up limited education slots, and Philippine society pays the social costs of supporting that education when another country gets the main benefits.
    Two is that we should collaborate with receiving countries to seriously improve the quality as well as volume of health education, growing the pie in quality and size. This will help us move up the value chain (more Advanced Nurse Practitioners and locally trained specialists, even if many or most leave, they still work in the Philippines for a few years and some do stay for whatever reasons). We should ask receiving countries to send visiting professors with PhD’s to our struggling nursing, medical and health education programs, and achieve a much higher standard of qualification for Philippine faculty (all Nursing teachers should have a serious MS, most professors of medicine have a PhD or comparable research experience). An teaching loads have to go down! The beneficiary countries should help fund a transition to smaller class sizes and lower teaching loads, they know they want better quality and they know this is how to get it.
    And three, the Philippine government, with foreign assistance, should put in mechanisms to assist the institutions that suffer loss, a safety net for the disruptive migrations that they are promoting. Hospitals and service providers with significant levels of turnover should get funding to train understudies before they (and their patients) are left in a lurch. I work in the software industry, and I know that high turnover can be managed successfully. But it takes massive investment in ongoing training, so that somebody pops out of the in-house training pipeline everytime somebody submits a resignation letter. An having replacements who are already familiar with the tasks and processes at hand is critical, government should fund in-house training programs so that they can overtrain in anticipation of turnover.
    I have thought about these three policy responses for some time, but I have no idea how to get them implemented. Perhaps some of you people out there who are working directly with the health sector might have some ideas about action.

    Fred K.
    Cebu City

  4. First of all I’d like to say, awesome post! I’ve got a small question bothering me, I really love the theme of your blog and tried to install the same theme on my WP site. Stil, there is some kind of weird php error in the footer. Do you have any hints, what settings are you using? Please PM me on Twitter @E-Online or via e-mail.

  5. i think the best way for them get out of the poverty cycle is for the government to introduce entrepreneurship. more people should seek education as a priority too