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Type: Journal article
Title: The importance of workforce surveillance, research evidence and political advocacy in the context of international migration of dentists
Author: Balasubramanian, M.
Brennan, D.
Spencer, A.
Watkins, K.
Short, S.
Citation: British Dental Journal (BDJ), 2015; 218(6):329-331
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0007-0610
Statement of
M. Balasubramanian, D. S. Brennan, A. J. Spencer, K. Watkins, S. D. Short
Abstract: The international migration of dentists is an issue of pressing significance that poses several complex policy challenges. Policy-making is mainly constrained by the lack of workforce surveillance, research evidence and political advocacy – all three are required to work together, yet with different purposes. We first discuss the inconsistencies in migrant dentist surveillance in major country-level governmental systems (immigration departments, dentist registration authorities and workforce agencies). We argue that the limitations in surveillance collections affect independent research and in turn scholarly contributions to dental workforce policy. Differences in country-level surveillance collections also hinder valid cross-country comparisons on migrant dentist data, impeding global policy efforts. Due to these limitations, advocacy, or the political process to influence health policy, suffers, but is integral to future challenges on dentist migration. Country-level advocacy is best targeted at improving migrant dentist surveillance systems. Research interest can be invigorated through targeted funding allocations for migration research and by improving the availability of dentist surveillance data for research purposes. At the global level, the WHOs global code of practice for international recruitment of health personnel (a crucial advocacy tool) needs to be strengthened. Global organisations such as the FDI World Dental Federation have an important role to play in advocating for improved migrant dentist workforce surveillance and research evidence, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Keywords: Humans; Population Surveillance; Dental Research; Emigration and Immigration; Politics; Health Policy; Foreign Professional Personnel; Dentists
Rights: © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030025984
DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2015.195
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Appears in Collections:Dentistry publications

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