Event Information:

  • Wed

    Seminar: “Diaspora as insurance against health crises and the death of employer-sponsored visas”, April 5 (RSCAS-EUI, Italy)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how quickly health professionals can come under high pressure in public health crises: while patient numbers increase steeply, fewer staff is available as many health professionals are themselves affected.

    The presenter Friedrich Poeschel explores the potential of health professionals in a country’s diaspora, as a reserve for times of crisis. Temporarily returning emigrants might be much easier to absorb into the health system than other migrants. Using country-level data sets on the current health workforce (WHO) and on health workforce migration (OECD), indicators are developed for a wide range of countries, separately for doctors and nurses. Not only a higher number of health professionals in a country’s diaspora – relative to its current health workforce – but also a wider geographical distribution make it more likely that a substantial number are available to return temporarily during a crisis. In practice, such temporary returns would most likely be arranged through bilateral agreements. The presenter offers concrete suggestions which bilateral agreements could most effectively insure countries against a shortage of health professionals during the next public health crisis.

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