Agreement on next steps to solve shortage of health professionals in Republic of Moldova

A wide variety of stakeholders and international representatives met in the Republic of Moldova on the 17 June to discuss progress towards the implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.

The technical discussion aimed to promote debate on effective policy options to strengthen the national health workforce and health systems and to foster commitment of all national stakeholders to implement the Code in the country. The Global Code aims to strengthen health systems by establishing and promoting voluntary principals and practices for an ethical international recruitment of health personnel.

In his opening speech, Minister of Health Dr Andrei Usatîi said: “As a source country, Moldova has actively participated in all negotiations regarding the development of the principles and objectives of the Code. The Republic of Moldova has been facing a worrying shortage of health professionals in the last few years and this has led to the establishment of the Analysis and Planning Department of Human Resources in Health, in the framework of the National Centre for Health Management. We hope that these actions will improve the management of the mobility of health professionals. Thereafter we hope there will be an impact on those leaving and those returning home, as well as on the development of the health system in our country.”

The discussion reached various conclusions, in particular:
  • Accurate, up to date data is vital;
  • There is a need for more intensive collaborations between various national and international stakeholders;
  • The Code should be promoted by the distribution of materials translated into local language;
  • Continuous capacity building for the Ministry of Health and medical institutions is essential;
  • Bilateral agreements should be signed between Republic of Moldova and the countries the health care workers are going to, concerning recognition of qualifications, technical assistance, circular migration, etc.

Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative to the Republic of Moldova said: ‘’This is a unique opportunity to have a variety of relevant stakeholders all in the same room, including representatives from government ministries, international organizations, civil society organizations, health care managers from different levels, and many others. This gives us an opportunity to have a constructive and transparent dialogue, with a view to future actions where cross-sections working groups would be relied on. This is an opportunity to discuss how to manage migration and turn it into circular mobility of the health professionals returning to benefit Moldova. At the same time we need to recognize various aspects of the dialogue, such as free movement of persons, human rights, well-performing health systems, inequalities and human resources for health.”

Representatives from the Norwegian Directorate for Health, WEMOS Foundation from the Netherlands and an EU-funded project from Italy shared the experiences of those countries in implementing, reporting and monitoring the Code.

The meeting was part of the biennial collaborative agreement (BCA) 2012–2013 between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova and WHO/Europe. The technical discussion and the ongoing process of strengthening the capacity of the Republic of Moldova to manage the migration of Moldovan health professionals are related to the EU-funded project “Better Managing the Mobility of Health Professionals in the Republic of Moldova”.
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