Health Workers (Commonwealth)

Health written question – answered on 4th February 2004.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the United Kingdom will sign up to the code of practice for the international recruitment of health workers approved by the Commonwealth Health Ministers in May 2003.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

holding answer 26 January 2004

The United Kingdom strongly supports the principles underlying the Commonwealth code of practice on the international recruitment of health workers. We do not intend, however, to sign up to the version put forward in May 2003. That version differed from earlier versions, which had been acceptable to us, and did not reflect amendments we had suggested.

The Department has its own guidance and a code of practice embodying ethical principles for the international recruitment of healthcare workers, which are clear, explicit, and under regular review. While we support efforts to persuade more countries and bodies to adopt ethical principles for any active international recruitment they undertake, we do not regard the Commonwealth code of practice as it stands as an appropriate vehicle.

Only 22 of the (then) 54 Commonwealth countries signed up to the Commonwealth code.

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