Another news piece on physician migration and shortages

Another piece on physician shortage from the Associated Press.

Excerpt from

"Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan of George Washington University believes the U.S. — which is facing a shortage of doctors — must stop looking elsewhere to fix its problems. He compares the practice to "poaching" and said it amounts to poor citizenship in the world community.

Every doctor drawn to the U.S, Britain, Australia and Canada from poorer nations leaves a hole that likely will not be filled, he said.

Mullan's research shows that areas such as sub-Saharan Africa (13.9 percent), the Indian subcontinent (10.7 percent) and the Caribbean (8.4 percent) lose large numbers of doctors to the big four nations. But there is little reciprocation. The U.S. exports less than one-tenth of 1 percent of its doctors abroad, for example.

"That creates enormous problems for the (source) country and for the educational and health leaders in the country who are attempting to provide healers," he said."

The loss of doctors in Africa, where millions have been infected with HIV and AIDS, is especially acute.

Dr. Kgosi Letlape, president of the South African Medical Association, said doctor migration creates a trickle-up effect, of sorts.

"What goes around comes around," he said. "We are in a continuum. What South Africa loses to the developed world, to the United States say, we gain from Uganda."