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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 29-30

Brain Drain Quagmire

Pharmacy Practice, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2015

Correspondence Address:
Shazia Qasim Jamshed
Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan 25200, Pahang
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2348-1471.159163

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How to cite this article:
Jamshed SQ, Siddiqui MJ. Brain Drain Quagmire. Dent Med Res 2015;3:29-30

How to cite this URL:
Jamshed SQ, Siddiqui MJ. Brain Drain Quagmire. Dent Med Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Oct 2];3:29-30. Available from: https://www.dmrjournal.org/text.asp?2015/3/2/29/159163

The healthcare system is an integral part of any system of government responsible for providing the basic healthcare services to all strata of society. Adequate number of human resource is the fulcrum on which the lever of a robust and well-functioning health system rotates. Developed nations experience an increase in aging population, which paves the way for increased need of healthcare services, and thus developing economies suffice the needs of developed nations by providing human resources. Emigration from low-income and middle-income countries to resource-rich countries for career gratification and monetary incentives create wide disparity in terms of the distribution of healthcare workers and in turn, pose obstacles to achieve Millennium Development Goals. Brain drain, a widely proliferating issue, is a combination of various push and pull factors. The predicament revolves around insufficient and limited research opportunities, bleak safety conditions and intellectual demotivation for the researchers and professionals in their native countries. These "push factors" are negotiated with pull factors such as lucrative employment opportunities, promising living conditions, and upgraded scholastic expansion in destination countries. A huge amount of money capitalized in the training of healthcare professionals in developing countries is being wasted due to professional migration. Ironically, this healthcare workforce imbalance is a pandemic that needs obliteration.

The World Health Organization formulated a code of practice to check the movement of healthcare workers from developing countries. The First Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in March 2008 in Kampala, Uganda, emphasized to absolve the problem of shortage of over 4 million health workers as well as to lay down effective measures on the part of governments to make local markets lucrative for sustainability.

The vision of Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Action that "all people, everywhere shall have access to a skilled, motivated, and facilitated health worker within a robust health system" needs collaborative partnerships between the donor and recipient countries, resolution of shortage of healthcare workforce within their domains as well as series of plans to develop human resources in order to fill the vacuum created by shortage.

The sustainability of healthcare workforce is quite challenging but as Rittel and Webber classified problems with "tame-wicked" distinction, [1] brain drain can be considered a "tame problem" which although quite complex but has analysis and solution both. We do agree with Logue that there is no single explanation for this predicament, and thus no single policy response is pertinent to all. [2]

Recent economic recession and general insecurity around the globe might have sown the seeds that bear the good fruit of "everlasting settlement" but how much time is required further is difficult to estimate. One cannot deny efficient brain gain but still future strategies need to be directed to deal with the stark reality of professional migration and sustain healthcare workforce.

We always visualize professional migration a "chronic communicable disease," which needs not only treatment but an eternal cure.

  References Top

Rittel H, Webber M. Dilemmas in general theory of planning. Policy Sci 1973;4:155-69.  Back to cited text no. 1
Logue D. Moving policy forward: Brain drain as a wicked problem. Global Soc Educ 2009;7:41-50.  Back to cited text no. 2


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