Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stop poaching Third World health workers

Queensland's top medical body today challenged all Australians to examine their consciences and pressure government to stop poaching health workers from poor third-world countries.

A report this week in Britain's highly respected medical publication The Lancet declares the poaching of health workers, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, as a “crime”.

It lists rich western countries, including Australia, Britain, the US and Canada, as leading the charge in the recruitment of medical graduates from Africa, leaving medicos on the continent swamped with impossible caseloads.

In an editorial extract on its website, The Lancet said “richer countries can no longer be allowed to exploit and plunder the future of resource poor nations”.

Australian Medical Association of Queensland (AMAQ) president Ross Cartmill said he and many of his colleagues were growing increasingly concerned by the high levels of overseas-trained doctors in local hospitals.