Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Type: Oral Parliamentary Question (OPQ)

    Question: Can the Minister confirm that, none the less, this country imported some 15,000 nurses, largely from developing countries, in the last year for which we have figures, while exporting 8,000 nurses that we trained, largely to developed countries? Are we not at risk of being accused of hypocrisy if we spend a lot of time saying that we should give more aid to Africa, which should help its health service and train its nurses to cure the sicknesses and diseases that we deplore, when it is actually subsidising our health service by sending nurses to this country who, despite the measures that the Minister referred to, end up employed in the NHS?
    Question Number:

    Member Answering Question: Winterton, Rosie
    Other Authors:
    Answering Department: DEPT OF HEALTH
    Date of Answer: 12.07.2005
    Date for Answer:
    Answer: We are the only developed country that has an ethical international recruitment policy. There are about 150 countries from which we do not actively recruit, including all the sub-Saharan African countries. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree that it is difficult for us to stop people applying for jobs in this country and to prevent them from coming here. All sorts of human rights issues would be raised if we were to do that. However, we are clear that the NHS does not actively recruit in developing countries that say they have problems, and we have recently extended that to cover the independent health care sector as well. We are the only developed country that has an ethical international recruitment policy. There are about 150 countries from which we do not actively recruit, including all the sub-Saharan African countries. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree that it is difficult for us to stop people applying for jobs in this country and to prevent them from coming here. All sorts of human rights issues would be raised if we were to do that. However, we are clear that the NHS does not actively recruit in developing countries that say they have problems, and we have recently extended that to cover the independent health care sector as well.

    Topic: Ethical Recruitment

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