Healthy immigration

OECD Observer

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The supply of medical staff also reflects global movements of labour. Indeed, there were some 1.3 million foreign born health professionals–nurses, doctors, pharmacists, dentists, etc.–living in OECD countries in 2000, according to a special report in the latest International Migration Outlook.
The US received some 47% of foreign-born doctors working in the OECD area, with the OECD-EU25 countries receiving 39%. Within European countries, the UK received 12% of foreign-born doctors, ahead of France and Germany. About a quarter of these doctors came from other European countries–the share for nurses is 38%. Otherwise, non-OECD Asia is the main origin of foreign born health professionals in many OECD countries, supplying 163,600 doctors and 189,300 nurses in 2000.India is the main source country for doctors, and the Philippines for nurses. In the US, more than half of the foreign-born doctors originate from Asia, with high shares also recorded in Australia (43%), Ireland (48%) and the UK (55%). Latin America is an important provider of health professionals to Spain (55% of foreign-born doctors, 41% for nurses). North Africa supplies about half of France’s foreign-born doctors and nurses. The UK and Germany are the most important source countries within the OECD area, International Migration Outlook says, with UK-born doctors representing as much as 75% of the immigrant doctors from the OECD in Ireland and New Zealand. For more on the report, see It can be ordered from ©OECD Observer No. 262 July 2007

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