Britain defends nicking health workers from sanctioned Zimbabwe





The United Kingdom is free to recruit healthcare workers from Zimbabwe because the country is not on the World Health Organisation’s “red list” where international recruitment of healthcare workers is prohibited.

Other southern African countries not on the list are: Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

This came out in the House of Lords yesterday when a British peer asked whether the UK government was having discussions with Zimbabwe about entering into a partnership agreement with Zimbabwe on the recruitment of healthcare workers.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care Lord Kamall said there were no discussions with Zimbabwe.

“International recruitment is regulated through the Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel. The Code includes a ‘red list’ of 47 countries identified by the World Health Organization as having the most pressing health and social care workforce challenge, from which active recruitment is prohibited,” Lord Kamall said.

According to the National Health Service of the UK, Zimbabwe had the second highest number of health workers from Africa, 4 780 as of March 2021, only second to Nigeria with 10 490.

The Nurses Council of Zimbabwe has doubled the fee for confirmation letters and certificates which nurses can use to apply for jobs abroad from US$150 to US$300 with effect from January.

The Zimbabwe Nurses Association says the move is aimed at preventing nurses from applying for jobs abroad as most cannot afford the new fee.

Q &A:

Lord Oates Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change): To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Zimbabwe about entering a partnership agreement concerning the recruitment of health care workers from that country.

Lord Kamall The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care: We have made no specific assessment of the impact on the Zimbabwean healthcare system of recruitment by the National Health Service. We have had no discussions with the Government of Zimbabwe on entering a partnership agreement.

International recruitment is regulated through the Code of Practice for the International Recruitment of Health and Social Care Personnel. The Code includes a ‘red list’ of 47 countries identified by the World Health Organization as having the most pressing health and social care workforce challenge, from which active recruitment is prohibited. The Government monitors international recruitment activity and where there are significant workforce flows into the NHS, particularly from low and middle-income countries, we engage with partner Governments on how this recruitment could be managed.

Countries on the red list:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Angola
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Benin
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Burundi
  7. Cameroon
  8. Central African Republic
  9. Chad
  10. Congo
  11. Congo, Democratic Republic of
  12. Côte d’Ivoire
  13. Djibouti
  14. Equatorial Guinea
  15. Eritrea
  16. Ethiopia
  17. Gabon
  18. Gambia, The
  19. Ghana
  20. Guinea
  21. Guinea-Bissau
  22. Haiti
  23. Kiribati
  24. Lesotho
  25. Liberia
  26. Madagascar
  27. Malawi
  28. Mali
  29. Mauritania
  30. Micronesia, Federated States of
  31. Mozambique
  32. Nepal
  33. Niger
  34. Nigeria
  35. Pakistan
  36. Papua New Guinea
  37. Senegal
  38. Sierra Leone
  39. Solomon Islands
  40. Somalia
  41. South Sudan
  42. Sudan
  43. Togo
  44. Uganda
  45. Tanzania, United Republic of
  46. Vanuatu
  47. Yemen, Republic of