From Brain Drain to Brain Gain: Migration of nursing and midwifery workforce in the State of Kerala


India has experienced tremendous growth in its capacity to produce health workers. However, the country still encounters challenges in terms of availability of human resources for health. On the other hand, India serves as a major source country for migrant doctors and nurses across the world. In 2010, the Sixty-third World Health Assembly adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. The Global Code endeavours to foster ethical and fair international recruitment of health workers, taking into account the rights, obligations and expectations of the source and destination countries, as well as those of the health workers themselves.

This report uses available data to compute estimates of the production, stock and migration of nurses and midwives for India as a whole and for the state of Kerala in particular, and identifies gaps in and limitations of available data sources. Finally, policy recommendations are offered in the spirit of the Global Code.

Post description:

  • Publication year: 2017
  • Content type: Case Study
  • Form of cooperation: Humanitarian Assistance
  • Cooperation context: Bilaterial cooperation
  • Region (country): Europe and Central Asia, Asia & Pacific
  • Sector: Health
  • Institution (Publication): World Health Organization
  • Author (and co-authors): Oxford Policy Management (Krishna D. Rao, Aarushi Bhatnagar, Radhika Arora, Swati Srivastava, Udit Ranjan), the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum (S. Irudaya Rajan, Sunitha Syam), the Health Systems Research India Initiative (Arun Nair, S.J. Sini Thomas), and the WHO Country Office for India (Tomas Zapata).
  • Keywords: Health, midwifery, nurses, brain drain, brain gain
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