This seminar formed part of IOM’s International Dialogue on Migration which in 2006 had an overall theme of Partnerships in Migration: Engaging Business and Civil Society. Through the IDM, IOM Member and Observer States have recognized the potential value of information sharing between policymakers and experts. This seminar built on reflections from previous IOM inter-sessional IDM seminars on migration and health in 2004, migration and trade in 2003 and 2004 and migration and development in 2005. Experiences were also drawn from IOM field work and collaborations with the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization on the mobility of health-care workers. The overall objective of this seminar was to bring together stakeholders to work toward effective management of the mobility of health-care workers, to move the agenda from awareness to action.


Human resources are critical in ensuring the delivery of quality health care services. The global shortage of health-care workers is aggravated by an unequal distribution of human resources sustained by a steady flow of international, regional, or internal migration. The shortage of human resources for health has been identified as the most critical public health constraint in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, as well as the WHO/UNAIDS "3 by 5 Initiative". To address issues raised by the migration of health-care workers, IOM and WHO signed a Protocol to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to apply a migration management framework within the context of human resources for health.

The management of the mobility of health-care workers involves a migration, health and labour perspective. Taking this into consideration, IOM, WHO and ILO are collaborating to develop strategies to explore issues raised by the mobility of health-care workers and move the agenda from awareness to action. The purpose of this seminar was to provide a forum for stakeholders to dialogue and to engage businesses and civil society in managing the mobility of health care workers, with a view toward identifying practical approaches and innovative solutions. The seminar consisted of plenary presentation, case studies, group discussions.


The two-day agenda for this seminar proposes to maintain a balance between migration, health and labour perspectives. The agenda is structured around the themes in four sessions. The four broad themes that will be covered include, issues associated with the mobility of health-care workers; possible policy approaches towards managing the mobility of health-care workers; engagement of business and civil societies in managing the mobility of health-care workers; and addressing innovative solutions for managing the mobility of health-care workers.

23 March 2006, Thursday

09:00 - 10:00 Registration of Participants

10:00 - 10:30 Welcoming remarks: Mrs. Ndioro Ndiaye, Deputy Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Welcome Remarks

10:30 - 11:15 Session I: Setting the Scene: Mobility of Health Care Workers

What are their patterns of mobility globally, what are the principal policy objectives? What are the key challenges for the sending countries? What is at stake for the receiving countries?

Discussant: Ms. Michele Klein-Solomon (JD), Acting Director, Migration Policy, Research and Communications, International Organization for Migration

  • Addressing the international, internal and public/private dimensions of the migration of health care workers
    • Dr. Danielle Grondin, Director, Migration Health Department, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Abstract | Presentation

  • The Scope And Impact of Health Worker Migration
    • Dr. Manuel Dayrit, Director, Department of Human Resources for Health, WHO Geneva

Abstract | Presentation

  • Action Programme on the International Migration of Health Care Workers: the Supply Side
    • Ms. Susan Maybud, Health Services, Sectoral Activities Department, ILO Geneva

Abstract | Presentation

11:15 - 13:00 Plenary Presentations

Discussant: Dr. Davide Mosca, IOM Migration Health Physician responsible for Africa and the Middle East

  • Improving health workforce capacity in England
    • Ms. Debbie Mellor, Head of Workforce Capacity Department of Health (England)

Abstract | Presentation

  • Health care systems: Sri Lanka
    • Dr. Sarath M. Samarage, Director of Organization Development, Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition, Sri Lanka

Abstract | Presentation

  • Health and long-term care for aging populations: Are international workers the solution?
    • Mr. Donald L. Redfoot (Ph.D), Senior Policy Advisor, Public Policy Institute, AARP, USA

Abstract | Presentation

  • Nurse migration: A personal experience and perspective
    • Mr. Isaac Cheke Ziba

Abstract | Presentation

General Discussion

13:30 - 14:30 Press Conference

15:00 - 18:00 Policy Approaches to Managing the Mobility of Health Care Workers

What are the policy approaches to managing the mobility of health care workers and how effective are they in addressing the issues at stake? This session will attempt to get an impact evaluation of what has been done so far, what has worked, what did not work and why. Through the presentation of cases studies, participants will have an opportunity to discuss best and less good practices, in view of being another step towards managing effectively the challenges and benefits of the migration of the health care workers.

Case Studies

Discussant: Dr. Francis Kimani Mwihia, Senior Deputy Director, Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Kenya

  • Commonwealth Secretariat : International Migration of Health Workers
    • Professor James Buchan, Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, UK

Abstract | Presentation

  • Mobilising Healthcare Professionals and Resources for Capacity Building in Africa
    • Mr. Funto Akinkugbe, Managing Director, Africa Recruit Limited, United Kingdom

Abstract | Presentation

  • Human resource and skills development: Benefits and challenges of partnership for health; a partnership between the Veneto Region, Italy and Timis County, Romania
    • Italy: Dr. Luigi Bertinato, International Health and Social Affairs Office, Department of Health and Social Services, Veneto Region
    • Romania: Dr. Dana Paica, Timis County Council, President’s Office, Timisoara, Romania

Abstract | Presentation

  • Polish management of the migration of health care workers in an expanding Eureopean Union
    • Mr. Maciej Duszczyk, Deputy Director, Office of the Committee for European Integration, Poland

Abstract | Presentation

  • Managing the mobility of health workers: The Philippine experience
    • Mr. Manuel Imson, Deputy Minister, Department of Labour and Employment, Republic of the Philippines

Abstract | Presentation

General discussion and wrap-up

24 March 2006, Friday

10:00 - 13:00 Engaging Businesses and Civil Society in Managing the Mobility of Health Care Workers

Plenary Presentations

Discussant: Mr. Daniel Stauffacher, President, WISeKey SA, Switzerland

  • International Health Care Workers, The Irish Perspective
    • Dr. Asam Ishtiaq, President, Irish Medical Organization
  • International Migration of nurses
    • Ms. Mireille Kingma (PhD), Nurse Consultant, from the International Council of Nurses International Centre on Nurse Migration
  • Recruiter organization perspective on managing mobility of health care workers
    • Mr. Ronald Hoppe, Founder and COO, World-Wide Health Staff Associates Ltd. International
  • Public Services International: Promoting workers’ rights and equity in the global health care workforce
    • Ms. Geneviève J. Gencianos, Coordinator, International Migration and Women Health Workers Programme, Public Services International
  • Making Migration of Human Resources for Health a Win-Win Situation for All Countries
    • Mr. Mel Lambert, International Organization of Employers affiliate

General Discussion

14:30 - 16:00 Innovative Solutions for Managing the Mobility of Health Care Workers

Discussant: Ms. Elizabeth E. Sealy, Chief Manpower Officer, Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development, Trinidad and Tobago

Break-out Groups

Groups will be formed to discuss innovative solutions for managing the mobility of health care workers, including addressing the issue of partnerships and collaboration with businesses and civil society.

16:00 - 16:30 Break

16:30 - 17:15 Reports to the plenary and discussion


17:15 - 18:00 The Way Forward

Discussants: Ms. Michele Klein-Solomon (JD) and Dr. Danielle Grondin

Brief summary of action points and the way forward

Concluding remarks


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