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HWMI Launches Databank on Bilateral Agreements

May 4, 2010  • Aspen Global Health and Development

The Health Worker Migration Initiative is collecting current bilateral agreements to promote transparency and highlight examples of policy working to better manage health worker migration. Below are the agreements we’ve found so far. These agreements were drawn upon in HWMI’s report Innovations in Cooperation: A Guidebook on Bilateral Agreements to Address Health Worker Migration, which provides concrete guidance on using bilateral agreements and offers two model agreements for nations to use as templates.

Bilateral Agreements:

  • ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement – Medical Practitioners, Nursing Services, Dental Practitioners: Enables mutual recognition of medical, nursing and dental credentials within the ASEAN economic region.  Of note, the agreements require respective terms of services of five, three, and five years in country before credentials are to be recognized.
  • Sudan-Saudi Arabia: Signed in 2009. Facilitates managed labor mobility between Sudan and Saudi Arabia as well as social protection and welfare.
  • Philippines-Bahrain: Signed April 2007. Seeks to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of health services and the exchange of human resources; in addition to facilitating movement of health workforce, provides specific details on mechanisms to support human resources for health development in the Philippines.
  • Philippines-Canada (3): Agreements with the provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Focused mainly on labor movement and social protection, though commit to support human resources development in Philippines, including describing funding mechanism for such purpose (Saskatchewan).
  • Philippines-UAE: Focused on labor mobility and social protection.
  • UK-Philippines: Agreement for the transfer of “policy thinking” and education; UK allowed to recruit health care professionals. (not renewed)
  • UK-South Africa 2003 and 2008: First signed October 2003 for a 5 year period. The agreement was renewed in 2008 for another 5 years. Facilitates exchange of health care workers and expertise.
  • Kenya-Namibia: June 2004. Provides guidelines for temporary (unidirectional) movement of health workers from Kenya to Namibia upon request of Namibia. Formed as result of Kenya’s inability to fully employ its health workers under terms of an IMF agreement.
  • Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement: Economic partnership signed in September 2006. Provides for Filipino nurses to go to Japan to obtain qualifications and professional or language training for up to four years. However, they must pass they must the national Japanese nursing exam.
  • India-Denmark: Facilitates managed labor movement of highly skilled workers and ensures their social protection and welfare. Specifically calls on cooperation between training facilities in both countries for mutual benefit.
  • France-Benin: Comprehensively addresses migration flows with a particular focus on health professionals and support for human resources for health development.
  • France-Senegal
  • US-China: Memorandum of Understanding to Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change, Energy, and Environment between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.