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Migration and the Globalisation of Health Care

The Health Worker Exodus? John Connell, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sydney, Australia
The international migration of health workers has been described by Nelson Mandela as the ‘poaching’ of desperately needed skills from under-privileged regions. This book examines the controversial recent history of skilled migration, and explores the economic and cultural rationale behind this rise of a complex global market in qualified migrants and its multifaceted outcomes.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $136.00 Web: $122.40
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84720 737 1
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  • Development Studies
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  • Migration
The international migration of health workers has been described by Nelson Mandela as the ‘poaching’ of desperately needed skills from under-privileged regions. This book examines the controversial recent history of skilled migration, and explores the economic and cultural rationale behind this rise of a complex global market in qualified migrants and its multifaceted outcomes.

John Connell pays particular attention to the increase in demand for migrants in more developed countries due to the complex ramifications of aging, and new opportunities and expectations. He illustrates how globalization has linked sub-Saharan Africa to Europe and North America, and created new demand in Japan for international migrants from China and isolated island states. The long-established skill-drain, with its impact on household relations and negative consequences for health care, is carefully balanced against new flows of remittances, the return of skills and complex regional changes. Wide-ranging policy interventions, and greater social justice, have been challenged by the rise of the ‘competition state’ and limitations to economic growth in the global south.

This comprehensive and definitive analysis of the global migration of health workers will prove an essential resource for academics and research students in health and social policy, and in the various disciplines that relate to migration, including sociology, economics and geography.
‘This book addresses a major current topic and attempts to cover the trends, arguments and dilemmas. The author is eminently qualified to tackle such an exercise as he has a long history of migration and other research, especially in the Pacific region. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the major issues together with detailed analysis and debate. . . this book is a major achievement for its intellectual depth and the international coverage provided. I would recommend it for policy makers, scholars, researchers and postgraduate students. It fills a gap in a very important but neglected policy area.’
– Robyn Iredale, Journal of Population Research

‘. . . the observations that John Connell makes about health systems worldwide in Migration and the Globalisation of Health Care are poignant and timely. He delivers a long-term prognosis for health systems throughout the world, and his findings should give us cause for alarm. Connell’s big-picture assessment of the status quo and his tried-and-tested recommendations for improving it deserve the attention of health policymakers and practitioners everywhere.’
– Rick Docksai, World Future Review
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. The Geography of Need 3. Phases of Globalisation 4. The Scope for Migration 5. An Overseas Orientation: Towards Migration? 6. Moving Out? Rationales for Migration 7. Migration and Health Provision 8. The Costs and Benefits of Skill Drain 9. Policy Implications 10. The Enigma of Globalisation References Index