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Employment agencies in Australia have come under fire for “poaching African doctors”, the news agency ABC reports. The report questions why over a quarter of Australia's medical staff are overseas-trained and whether this has a damaging effect to the developing countries some of these employees come from.
The reporter, Ginny Stein, said that “No-one is arguing about the rights of doctors to decide where to work, but there's anger at the recruitment tactics of Australian medical employment agencies.”
Similarly, a doctor at a South African hospital questioned the morality of Australia’s hiring practices, saying the country was taking away urgently needed medical staff from an impoverished region.
Dr Bushy Bell said “The morality of it is what I find questionable, 'cause if you look at life expectancy in Australia, it should be very high, obviously. Ours is very low. If Australia […] takes our people, what they contribute to is a negative. Many more of our people will die from quite preventable diseases, because our people are really being killed by preventable diseases – quite a number of them.”
Criticism is harsh over Australia’s recruitment methods as more and more qualified doctors head overseas to find jobs. This causes death of others, the opponents in this report argue.
“Across Africa, the continent is bleeding doctors. Faster than it can train them, they are heading overseas, recruited to work in developed countries,” Mr Stein commented.