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Securing Medical Personnel: Case Studies of Two Source Countries and Two Destination Countries

Discussion Papers

No.105

May 2007

ABSTRACT

A shortage of medical personnel has become a critical problem for developing countries attempting to expand the provision of medical services for the poor. In order to highlight the driving forces determining the international allocation of medical personnel, the cases of four countries, namely the Philippines and South Africa as source countries and Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom as destination countries, are examined. The paper concludes that changes in demand generated in major destination countries determine the international allocation of medical personnel at least in the short run. Major destination countries often alter their policies on how many medical staff they can accept, and from where, while source countries are required to make appropriate responses to the changes in demand.

Keywords: Medical personnel, brain drain, the Philippines, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom
JEL classification: F22, I19, J61, O52, O53, O55

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