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NHS should employ more third world health workers, Tory conference told


Trusts should be encouraged to take on more health workers from developing countries by paying them extra cash, a Tory MP has argued.

Speaking at a Conservative Party conference fringe event, Jeremy Lefroy said the white paper set out the principle that employers should take greater responsibility for the health workforce.

Encouraging greater migration would help boost the skills of health professionals hailing from the third world, equipping them with techniques they could take back to their home countries. It would also help to fill staffing gaps in the NHS, Mr Lefroy said.

He said: “There’s a very strong argument to be made that [trusts that] take on people trained oversees, particularly from developing countries… should be compensated by the health service here.”

Mr Lefroy runs a charity, Equity for Africa, and formerly lived in Tanzania, where his GP wife ran a public health education programme.

However, University of Sussex Professor Ronald Skeldon said many health workers, such as doctors, do not return to their home countries after working in Western hospitals, meaning the health systems in developing countries suffered when skilled staff left for the UK.

He argued against the planned immigration cap and said Britain should fund training opportunities in developing countries to encourage some health workers to stay at home and help local populations.


Readers' comments (12)

  • Tories lack insight; we are in an economy where there is less jobs for people in the uk. But, let's employ people from other countries. This is a joke regardless of intent or though. ?? Whether this is another plan for cheaper labour. I am all for international working, but, once our country has enough too pay for it's own.

    Maybe investment in a uk workforce first would be much more valued..

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  • that beats it freeze pay,do more work and skills,asking to work a free day to save costs in this so many million pound cut back ha ha and to pay more money to third world care workers to train can you kindly think of british nurses first or the uk first this is an insult to britain

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  • what about us? Born in GB, trained in GB, unblemished record, highgly motivated to provide the highest quality of care with compassion and EBM and intersted in keeping abreast with the latest developments in nursing and medicine. MSc in healthcare management. NO JOB and no prospects - reasons I have been given - too highly qualified, too old, worked for too long abroad and have no experience (worked in a first class modern uni. hospital with the highest standards, nurses autonomous practitioners in their own right, and have recognition of my UK registration in my host country). What's the answer? Employ more and more nurses in the UK from abroad so there are even fewer jobs available for UK nurses in my situation and for the newly qualified.
    I feel very strongly about western countries helping the less privileged ones in need in any way we can and especially the most vulnerable and starving individuals but in the UK we also have vulnerable individuals in desperate situations. Our resources are not infinite and I feel that by sorting out our own infrastructure first and foremost for now and for the futue to provide equitable services of the highest quality for all, with priority for healthcare, reduce wastage there would then be superfluous funds to support other lands. If all western countries did the same their people would be assured of a more stable and secure future and perhaps, with some more standardised procedures for investing in other countries in need there would be enough resources left over to reduce if not eliminate much more of the poverty in the world.
    Would it not be a better solution for people to receive more help and support in their own countries and to develop their infrastructure instead of flooding others willy-nilly, draining their resources and dragging everyone down into poverty and the reception of deteriorating services which is also causing discrimination and conflict?
    All this ad hoc spending (frittering away the taxpayers money) by western governments for waging wars, rocket science, patching up deficient health and other essential services in one smaller area of care to the detriment of other larger and possibly more important ones, etc., etc. is no long term solution, and leads to uncertainty, concern and further ill health in poplations and if not checked now will only get far worse. Where is the commonsense? Is it likely to change or shall we just dream on that one day, before we die, we will live in a better and more equitable world?

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  • Have I just read an article stating the government should fund trainning for people from 3 world countries and that the government should pay trusts to employ such people. Hello Im here!!! qualified district nurse, you have already paid for my nurse training. I no doubt will be out of a job by the end of the year, therefore give me one of the said jobs. Why on earth would someone suggest such nonsense,

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  • the very idea is ludicrous

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  • Maybe third world country nurses are more hard worker and more dedicated to their job. Hmmm... and not a moaner like UK local nurses. What do you think?

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  • well they might not shout for fairer pay or even just plain reconition for a job well done, us UK moaners are not asking for a fat bonus or even a box of chocs at christmas we are asking for a decent wage and a job that we have trained for several years

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  • Make NHS staff (front line nurses included) redundant, throw away the money spent on their training/education - doesn't that make them unemployed and possibly in need of benefit? What about the loss of their tax?
    Make public servants redundant - doesn't that make them unemployed and possibly in need of benefit? What about the loss of their tax?
    Take people off benefit and put them to work - what work when we have millions unemployed?
    Give jobs to non-UK citizens, pay them more than UK citizens and keep the already trained, previously employed unemployed.
    What planet are these people on?
    Does anyone in this government have a grain of common sense?
    Do The Maths - it doesn't add up.

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  • If there aren't any UK trained nurses left to 'moan' how will working conditions ever improve? They will be out of work and nurses from other countries will take their place uncomplainingly, and perhaps even gratefully, accepting whatever they are offered.
    Maybe a lesson to be learned - I am no longer able to get a job after 20 years of experience in the European country where I have worked most of my career because of a massive intake of unemployed younger foreign nurses from a neighbouring country on a sudden whim of the healthcare labour market. These nurses are grateful for the terms and conditions offered. Although they are well trained they lack experience but are prefered as they get on with their work without questioning and disputing orders they are given, are cheaper to employ and don't tend to stay for more than one year, which means they can be replaced by others with little experience who are at the lower end of the salary scale and therefore cost their employers less as they don't have to invest in expensive social contributions for them which increase annually and according to years in service.

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  • I say three words quality of care

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