First, a better balance must be found domestically between the need for health workers and supply of health workers. The need for new health workers can be reduced by improving the utilisation of existing human resources within the health and care services. Also, the domestic capacity for training health workers should be adjusted to ensure that supply fits the need.
Secondly, a larger part of the Norwegian development assistance given to developing countries should be targeted at measures that increase not only the receiving countries’ capacity to train health workers, but also conditions for those already employed in the sector.
Thirdly, it is neither a goal nor a realistic expectation to expect a full stop to the migration of health workers from developing countries. One cannot force individuals to stay in their native countries. Also, migration is not one-sidedly negative – it can have many positive effects for the ceding countries. The Norwegian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs therefore propose the creation of both national and international guidelines with mechanisms for compensation to ensure that developing countries are not at loss when health workers are recruited to jobs in developed countries.
The proposals in the report will be considered for implementation by the Norwegian Government, probably in 2008.