Source Country Perspectives Of Highly Trained Health Personnel

This research addresses the causes, consequences and responses of source countries to the migration of their highly trained health personnel. This will include a focus on doctors, nurses and health care managers and educators. The countries that are going to be examined specifically include the Philippines, India, South Africa, and Jamaica. Data will be gathered about who is migrating, how they are migrating and to where, and what some of the consequences have been of the migration of highly trained health personnel from these countries using a variety of indicators considered important by those actually within the countries being studied. Finally, some of the responses to minimize the negative consequences will be examined highlighting some useful examples that could be implemented across these and other countries experiencing similar problems.

This topic should be of interest to those in Canada because it is one of the countries that these personnel are migrating to and we should understand the consequences this has for countries of origin. Further, this information will help to ensure that Canada meets its international obligations to improve situations in countries from which it benefits from highly skilled migration.

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Ivy Lynn Bourgeault is a Professor in the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa.  She holds the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health Human Resources.

Ronald Labonté holds a Canada Research Chair in Globalization and Health Equity at the School of Epidemiology and Public Heath. He is Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Ottawa, and in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia.

Gail Tomblin-Murphy is the Director, School of Nursing; Assistant Dean Research, Faculty of Health, a Professor at the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine and Director, WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning & Research



Ly, B.A., Bourgeault, I., Labonté, R., Niang, M.N., “Physicians’ perceptions on the impact of telemedicine on recruitment and retention in underserved areas: a descriptive study in Senegal,” Human Resources for Health (2017): 15:67:1-8.

Castro-Palaganas, E., Spitzer, D., Kabamalan, M.M., Sanchez, M., Carcativo, R., Runnels, V., Labonté, R., Tomblin-Murphy, G., Bourgeault, I., “An examination of the causes, consequences, and policy responses to the migration of highly trained health personnel from the Philippines: the high cost of living/leaving—a mixed method study,” Human Resources for Health (2017) 1-14.

Walton-Roberts, M., Runnels, V., Rajan, I., Sood, A., Nair, S., Thomas, P., Packer, C., MacKenzie, A., Tomblin-Murphy, G., Labonté, R., Bourgeault, I., “Causes, consequences and policy responses to the migration of health workers: Key findings from India,” Human Resources for Health (2017) 1-18.

Ly, Apho Birama, Labonte, R. Bourgeault, Ivy Lynn, Niang, Mbayang Ndiaye. (2017). The individual and contextual determinants of the use of telemedicine: A descriptive study of the perceptions of Senegal’s physicians and telemedicine project managers. PLoS ONE 12(7):


Bourgeault, I., Labonté, R., Runnels, V., Packer C. and Tomblin Murphy, G. (2016) “Knowledge and potential impact of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel: Does it matter for source and destination country stakeholders?” Human Resources for Health

Tomblin Murphy, G., MacKenzie, A., Waysome, B., Guy-Walker, J., Palmer, R., Rose, A.E., Rigby, J., Bourgeault, I., and Labonté, R. (2016) “A mixed-methods study of health worker migration from Jamaica” Human Resources for Health


Labonté, R., Attaran, A., Bourgeault, I., Tomblin-Murphy, G., Sanders, D. “Trading health for oil? Uganda should not export its health workers,” The Lancet Vol. 385 February 28, 2015.

Labonté, R., Sanders, D., Mathole, T., Crush, J., Chikanda, A., Dambisya, Y., Runnels, V., Packer, C., MacKenzie, A., Tomblin-Murphy, G. and Bourgeault, I.    “Health worker migration from South Africa: Causes, consequences and policy responses,” Human Resources for Health (2015) 13:92:1-16

Bourgeault, I.L., Neiterman, E. & LeBrun, J., Midwives on the Move: Comparing the Requirements for Practice and Integration Contexts for Internationally Educated Midwives in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. Midwifery. Special Issue on the Maternity Care Workforce.


Bourgeault, I.L., & Wrede, S. (2011) Caring across borders: contrasting the contexts of nurse migration in Canada and Finland. In C. Benoit & H. Hallgrimsdottir (Eds.), Finding Dignity in Health Care and Health Care Work. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Neiterman, E. & Bourgeault, I.L. (2011) Conceptualizing Professional Diaspora: International Medical Graduates in Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 12(3). Available for download at:


Bourgeault, I.L., Parpia, R., & Atanackovic, J. (2010). Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program: Is it an answer to the growing demand for older adult care? Journal of Population Aging. 3(1-2), 83-102.

Bourgeault, I.L., Atanackovic, J., Rashid,, A. & Parpia, R., (2010) Relations between Immigrant Care Workers and Older Persons in Home and Long-Term Care Canadian Journal on Aging. 29(1), 1-10.

Bourgeault, I.L. (2010) The Canadian Live-In Caregiver Programme. World Migration Report, International Organization on Migration. p. 16.

Spencer, S., Martin, S., Bourgeault, I.L., & O’Shea, E., (2010) The Role of Migrant Care Workers in Ageing Societies: Report on Research Findings in the U.K., Ireland, the U.S. and Canada. IOM Migration Research Series No. 41. Available at:

Bourgeault, I.L. Neiterman, E., LeBrun, J., Viers, K., & Winkup, J., (2010) Brain Gain, Drain and Waste: The Experiences of IEHPs in Canada. Released Oct 2010 & available at:


Bourgeault, I.L. (2006) On the Move: The Migration of Health Care Providers in Canada. Final Report to SSHRC INE Skills Research Initiative (co-sponsored by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Industry Canada). Published through the Skills Research Initiative Working Paper Series – D-08.

Bourgeault, I.L. (2007) Brain Drain, Brain Gain and Brain Waste: Programs aimed at Integrating and Retaining the Best and the Brightest in Health Care. Special Issue of Canadian Issues/Thémes canadiens, Spring, 96-99.

Bourgeault, I.L. (2007) Health Care Brain Waste Needs Long Term Policy Solution. Special Issue of Embassy Newspaper on world health. (Invited). March 28th

Bourgeault, I.L. (2008) On the Move: The Migration of Health Care Providers into and out of Canada. In B. Singh Bolaria & H. Dickenson Health, Illness & Health Care in Canada. (pp. 76-98) (invited)

Bourgeault, I.L., & Wrede, S. (2008) Caring beyond borders: comparing the relationship between work and migration patterns in Canada and Finland. Special Issue of The Canadian Journal of Public Health on “Finding Dignity in Health Care and Health Care Work” edited by C. Benoit & H. Hallgrimsdottir. 99 (Supplement 2), S22-26.

Bourgeault, I.L., Atanackovic, J., Parpia, R., Denton, M., McHale, J., Winkup, J., Toombs, R. LeBrun, J., & Rashid, A. (2009) The Role of Immigrant Care Workers in an Aging Society: The Canadian Context and Experience. Available at

Neiterman, E. & Bourgeault, I., L. (2008) The Gender Dimensions of Canadian Policies and Programs for Integrating Internationally Educated Health-Care Professionals. Work in a Global Society Working Paper Series, 2008-1.