Responding to the DHSC’s publication of the revised code of practice for international recruitment in England, Dr Kitty Mohan, chair of the BMA international committee, said:
“International health and care workers make a huge contribution to the delivery of healthcare in England, and it is critical that they are treated fairly so they can concentrate on caring for patients. The code of practice for international recruitment is an important tool in achieving this fair treatment, and we especially welcome the DHSC’s commitment to regularly reviewing it with our input. This year we have supported a number of doctors subject to exploitative employment practices and these changes can go a long way toward making these cases rarer.
“We are pleased to see the best practice benchmarks in employment contracts have been strengthened, and hope that this will help safeguard the principles of fairness and consistency in contracts, including in regard to the troubling use of repayment clauses. We welcome the simplification of routes for escalating concerns about exploitative recruitment and employment practices and other breaches to the code. This will help to hold organisations to account. The new knowledge test for recruiting organisations applying to be on the ethical recruiters list will also help ensure they know their responsibilities.
“We fully support the code’s effort to prevent active recruitment to the UK from countries with chronic workforce challenges of their own, as well as ensuring international cooperation and progress towards universal health coverage in all countries. We have always recognised and supported the need for ethical recruitment and migration of doctors globally and believe all health organisations should hire with an eye to their impact in the wider world.
“We strongly urge health organisations to follow this code of practice, both for the wellbeing of individual international doctors and for the wellbeing of the health community in the world at large.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.