The ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa has called on stakeholders to support and ensure full implementation of the WHO Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
Adopted in 2010 at the 63rd World Health Assembly, the Code seeks to strengthen the understanding and ethical management of international health personnel recruitment through improved data, information, and international cooperation
Prof. Omaswa, who is also the former Executive Director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance explained that the Code would ensure a shared global pool of health workers, in view of the increasing workforce mobility.
However, in order for countries to benefit from this shared pool of health workers, high-quality medical education is essential, Prof. Omaswa observed.
“The need for health professionals to move from country to country is a given. it cannot be stopped. This Code which took us 6 years to develop is a beautiful document for the welfare of the migrants. It provides support to the source countries and recipient countries to receive the services of well-educated and highly motivated health workers. This code is at the center of everything and I would like to call on all of us to get familiar with it, to support it, and to make sure that it is implemented fully,” said Prof. Omaswa
According to the OECD, movement of health workers has increased by 60% in the last decade and there are so many bilateral agreements between countries to facilitate movement.
“ and we have to live with it and manage it using the WHO Code,” said Prof Omaswa.
He strongly called for quality assurance mechanisms in medical education.
“ If we are going to use the global pool of health workers whom we share through the WHO Code, we must have credible and trusted accreditation mechanisms,” said Prof. Omaswa
“Education in my own view is the single most important intervention in assuring quality health services for populations throughout the world. Medical school is like a factory. If you have a bad factory you have bad products. If you have bad products you have unhappy consumers. We don’t want our medical schools to be bad factories. We want them to produce the best products and have happy consumers,” cautioned Prof. Omaswa.
Prof. Omaswa made the remarks on August 6, 2021, during the satellite session for the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER).
The session highlighted the work and priority areas of ECFMG|FAIMER in Africa that includes: Health Professions Education, Accreditation of Medical Training, Health Care Education resources, Supporting Medical Regulatory Authorities in Africa through the verification of physician credentials, Clinical exchanges, and their contribution to health workforce development.
Prof. Omaswa stated that ACHEST had entered a partnership with the ECFMG |FAIMER to work on a project which will see the implementation of a web-based resources on health care education, accreditation, and regulation. This will contribute immensely to quality assurance in the sector.
He noted that there has been a surge of the private sector in medical education, nursing, and other specialty education, which puts Africa’s institutions in a difficult situation. “ If we are not able to assure quality, then we go back to that bad-factory-bad-products situation which is going to be a huge problem for countries and for the world to share the health workers through the Code,” stated Prof. Omaswa.
Listen to the recording click here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUNyN7aBrro
Compiled by Carol Natukunda