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Doctors' Drain Cost Africa US $2bn a Year.

Research finding released Friday show that Sub-Saharan African countries that invest in training doctors have ended up losing US $2 billion per year due to immigration.

A study by Canadian scientists, reveals that South Africa and Zimbabwe suffer the worst economic losses due to doctors emigrating, as the state-trained doctors leave home to find work in more prosperous developed nations.

According to Edward Mills, chair of global health at the University of Ottawa, who led the study, the brain drain of trained health workers from poorer countries to richer ones exacerbates the problem of already weak health systems in low-income countries.

Those beneifting the most from recruiting doctors trained abroad are developed nations such as Australia, Canada, Britain and the United States, as they typically invest less than what is needed in terms of training of doctors as importing labour is more affordable.

Mills says developed countries need to recognise this imbalance and help invest more in training and developing health systems in the countries that lose out.

In the study just was published in the British Medical Journal, Mills' team wrote: "Many wealthy destination countries, which also train fewer doctors than are required, depend on immigrant doctors to make up the shortfall."

"Developing countries are effectively paying to train staff who then support the health services of developed countries," the team said.

Experts say the brain drain severely undermines efforts to tackle epidemics of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

2011 - The Tripoli Post

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Publication:The Tripoli Post (Tripoli, Libya)
Date:Nov 25, 2011
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