More on brain drain

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Building upon the two new ‘brain drain’ reports we discussed earlier, Ethan Zuckerman has an excellent post up on the medical brain drain from Africa:

Looking at national databases of physicians in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, [Dr. Fitzhugh Mulla] discovers that 23 to 28% of new physicians studied medicine outside the country where they are practicing. Of those emigré physicians, 40-75% are from lower income countries. This means that many nations are exporting a large portion of their trained physicians - of the 20 countries who export the highest number of physicians proportional to the number trained, 9 are in the Carribean or Sub-Saharan Africa.

But there is hope:

Some African nations are demonstrating that they can bring back business talent by creating environments for entrepreneurship - many of the Ghanaian entrepreneurs I know lived and worked in the US or the UK, developed robust business skills and some capital, and came home to start businesses when the environment looked sufficiently promising.

Which begs the question:

Is it fair to expect African nations to spend sufficient money on their national health services that they can attract doctors to stay home? Or do the US and other nations need to take some responsibility for ensuring they don’t leave poor nations devoid of trained medical professionals?

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