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Non-EU migrant doctors in Ireland: applying a typology of health worker migration

  • Niamh Humphries1,
  • Sara McAleese1,
  • Ella Tyrrell2,
  • Steve Thomas2,
  • Charles Normand2 and
  • Ruairi Brugha2
BMC Health Services Research201414(Suppl 2):O21

https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-14-S2-O21

Published: 7 July 2014

Background

Research on health worker migration in the Irish context has previously sought to categorize migrant health workers by country or region of training (e.g. non-EU nurses or doctors), by migration channel or mechanism (e.g. actively recruited nurses). This paper applies a recently developed typology of health worker migration [1], to the experiences of non-EU migrant doctors in Ireland and considers the value of a typology of health worker migration to human resource management internationally.

Materials and methods

The paper draws on quantitative (N=37) and qualitative (N=337) data collected from non-EU migrant doctors in Ireland between 2011 and 2013.

Results

While non-EU migrant doctors can be categorized according to the typology [1], in the Irish context, a cross-cutting theme of frustration emerged from doctors in almost all categories. In addition to ‘career oriented migrants’ expressing frustration at poor career progression, were ‘returners’ who could not return home because of their limited career progression in Ireland and ‘livelihood migrants’ frustrated with weak career progression.

Conclusions

Employing a typology of health worker migration can facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of the migrant medical workforce, a necessary prerequisite for the development of useful policy tools [2]. However, our findings suggest that migrant health workers cannot be divorced from the health system context in which they work in the destination country, and perhaps this should be incorporated into the typology.

Declarations

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the Health Research Board for funding the Doctor Migration Project (RCSI & TCD) HRA_HSR/2010/18.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Epidemiology, RCSI
(2)
Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin

References

  1. Glinos I, Buchan J: Health Professionals crossing the European Union’s internal and external borders: A typology of health professional mobility and migration. Health Professional Mobility in a Changing Europe - New dynamics, mobile individuals and diverse responses. Edited by: Buchan J, et al. 2014, WHO & European Observatory on Health Systems and PoliciesGoogle Scholar
  2. Glinos I, et al: Health Professional Mobility and Health Systems in Europe: Conclusions from the Case Studies. Health Professional Mobility and Health Systems Evidence from 17 European Countries. Edited by: Wismar W, et al. 2011, World Health Organisation & European Observatory on Health Systems and PoliciesGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Humphries et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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