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If the international migration of doctors has been part of the "brain drain" debate, few studies have focused on the question in depth due to statistical data limitations. An innovative data source based on foreign-trained doctors over the period 1991 to 2004, made it possible to draw up an overview of the migration flow of doctors, to study its impact and draw economic policy implications. The Asian countries record the highest emigration rates for doctors (India, the Philippines), followed by Canada and the United Kingdom with France in 25th position. In 2004, Subsaharan Africa recorded the lowest density of doctors in the world but a relatively high emigration rate at 19%. In 2004, 60% of foreign-trained doctors were located in the United States, the country receiving the highest number of doctors in the world, and 20% in the United Kingdom. Australia, Canada and Germany each receive 3%, Belgium 2% and France 1.34%. What effect do these migrations have on the origin countries both from an economic point of view and in terms of health indicators? What lines of action or public policies can be envisaged in the face of emigration? What form of international cooperation can be envisaged in terms of health professionals’ international mobility? What are the impacts on the receiving countries’ in terms of health profession regulation policies?

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Research note


Institut de recherche et documentation en économie de la santé (IRDES)

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migratoin, medical doctors