The active recruitment of health workers: a defence

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Abstract

Many organisations in rich countries actively recruit health workers from poor countries. Critics object to this recruitment on the grounds that it has harmful consequences and that it encourages health workers to violate obligations to their compatriots. Against these critics, I argue that the active recruitment of health workers from low-income countries is morally permissible. The available evidence suggests that the emigration of health workers does not in general have harmful effects on health outcomes. In addition, health workers can immigrate to rich countries and also satisfy their obligations to their compatriots. It is consequently unjustified to blame or sanction organisations that actively recruit health workers.

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