The Nigerian Health Workforce in a Globalized Context

The Nigerian Health Workforce in a Globalized Context

Uduak Archibong (University of Bradford, UK) and Cyril Eshareturi (University of Bradford, UK)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5079-2.ch009


Nigerian health professionals are impacted by several global forces bearing down on them, one of which is the positive economic prospects associated with emigrating to work abroad. This emigration is an aspect of increased global mobility which has had an adverse effect on the Nigerian health economy. This is important globally because countries with the smallest healthcare workforce capacities such as Nigeria have the poorest health outcomes. The emigration of health professionals from Nigeria will continue until domestic structures such as improved healthcare infrastructures, job security, and financial rewards change for the better. Thus, it is important that measures aimed at supporting the Nigerian health workforce be implemented with a focus on building and managing for sustainability within the context of international interdependency. Accordingly, this chapter is aimed at creating a theoretical framework for building capacities and managing the challenges of the Nigerian health workforce vis-à-vis the opportunities offered by globalization.
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Literature Review

Migration is historically theorized using the traditional “push” and “pull” factors that extend to, among others, economic, political, social and environmental perspectives, although, recent scholars consider them as too simplistic (O’Reilly, 2013). In the neoclassical economic theory, economists view this movement as an effect of the differences in the cost of labor between the origin (used interchangeably with sending) and destination countries from the macro-level aspect and depicts the rational decision of individual migrants to emigrate in the micro-level (Harris & Todaro, 1970). On the contrary, network theory attributes this mobility to the presence of family ties and social networks (Massey et al., 1993).

Globalization is the spread of trans-planetary and supra-territorial connections between people often conveying internationalization underpinned by the growth of transactions and interdependence between countries (Scholte, 2008). From this perspective, globalization involves reductions in barriers to trans-world social contacts making individuals to physically, legally, linguistically, culturally and psychologically engage with each other wherever they might be (Michie, 2017). This indeed construes a global world as one where messages, ideas, merchandise, money, investments, pollutants and people cross borders between national state territorial units (Marsella, 2012). Therefore, the process of globalization involves extensive contact among people from different cultures with subsequent social, cultural, economic, and political interdependencies and consequences (Marsella, 2012). This has facilitated the emigration of health professionals as globalization acts as a catalyst which is supportive of emigration (Michie, 2017).

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