Brain Drain

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Healthcare Pages: 5 (1494 words) Published: May 28, 2013
Brain Drain
With the growing trend of immigration, many problems continue to arise. Specifically, people who are qualified medical practitioners are moving from their poor home countries to work in wealthier and better-developed ones. This phenomenon is known as “brain drain.” According to, “brain drain” is “a loss of trained professional personnel to another company, nation…that offers greater opportunity.” Poor countries suffer from significant “brain drain” of their health professionals as health workers migrate to wealthier countries, leaving the poorer countries at a loss of sufficient health care. The healthcare systems in low-income countries are already in a weak and fragile state, with a rapidly growing rate of childhood and maternal mortality. The “brain drain” phenomenon directly threatens the delivery of adequate health care to the citizens of poorer countries, contributing to their increasing mortality rate. In order to decrease the impacts of the ongoing “brain drain” dilemma, a greater number of health professionals should be trained.

There are several reasons why the “brain drain” of health workers is so frequently happening. The health systems in poorer countries are very fragile and are not very stable. Many health professionals who begin their training in these poorer countries do not receive all the education they desire to have. After basic training, they choose to move onto richer countries where they have a better opportunity for further training. Because of the financial setbacks experienced in poorer countries, there is not as much equipment and training material to thoroughly train their health workers. In an article titled “Brain Drain Hits Poor Countries Hard” by Gustavo Capdevila, he states the top reasons for migrating health workers are “a poor working environment and a lack of motivation” as well as “low wages and…little prospect for advancement in their careers” (par. 3). In wealthier countries, these migrating health workers have the materials and equipment necessary to receive sufficient training. Likewise, the health facilities in wealthier countries are much more developed and have a better probability of promotional prospects for their practitioners. The compensation of workers in richer countries is also far greater than what is offered in poorer countries. Rich countries choose to hire medical staff from abroad because they are much cheaper to pay. All of these factors contribute to the “brain drain” dilemma, by attracting more and more health workers to immigrate to wealthier countries.

Although it is understandable why these people desire to leave their underdeveloped countries to seek better career opportunities and environment, it is severely damaging the healthcare systems in poor countries. It is true that there are many benefits associated with the “brain drain” phenomenon, such as broadening the individual’s opportunities, but the healthcare systems in poorer countries are already small and fragile. As they continue to lose medical professionals, they are left in an even more desolate state. As stated on, “some countries are left with just 500 doctors each, with large areas without any health workers of any kind” (par. 6). As countries lose their health workers, they are left with no means of medical attention or assistance. This results in a greater number of deaths due to unattended illnesses and injuries. Especially in these poor countries, where there are greater chances of catching disease and becoming infected. The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing stated, “staff migration from developing nations is killing millions and compounding poverty” (par. 1). Due to the loss of health care workers, low-income countries have become weaker in their ability to fight health challenges such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other serious conditions common to underdeveloped nations. Sooner or later, these countries...
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