UK free to recruit healthcare workers from Zimbabwe


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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:
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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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