Shortage of health workers is a global problem, not just a problem for the NHS

The scrapping of the immigration cap is a rare victory for freedom of movement, but the global health inequalities underlying the issue need to be part of the debate

The shortage of health workers is a global problem, particularly acute in parts of Africa and Asia, fuelled by global health inequalities. Nigeria has 1 doctor for every 2,660 people, compared to 1 doctor for every 354 in the UK. The UK is home to over 4,700 doctors who trained in Nigeria, providing a substantial subsidy from Nigeria to the UK.

If the UK intends to rely on some of the world’s poorest countries to make up for its failure to train sufficient health workers, it must put in place a mechanism to adequately compensate them.

Martin Drewry, Director, Health Poverty Action

Professor David Sanders and Chiara Bodini, Global Co-chairs, People’s Health Movement

Dr Titilola Banjoko, Co-chair of Better Health for Africa

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary, Medicus Mundi International Network

Marielle Bemelmans, Director, Wemos

David McCoy, Professor of Global Public Health, Queen Mary University of London

Remco van de Pas, Academic coordinator, Maastricht Centre for Global Health

Dr Fran Baum, Director, Southgate Institute for Health, Flinders University

Professor Ronald Labonté, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa