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Nurse Migration from South Africa and the Ethics Discourse

  • Colleen McNeil-Walsh
Chapter

Abstract

The negative consequences of migration have led to an ethics discourse in which the central concern is the diminished ability of developing countries to provide adequate care at a time of extensive outmigration of health professionals (World Health Assembly, 2004). The purpose of this chapter is twofold; first to situate South Africa in this ‘brain drain’ discourse and second to consider the place of nurse migrants through a ‘discourse from within’. The debate around the outmigration of health professionals from developing countries has paid little attention to the perspectives of health professionals themselves (Mensah et al., 2005). This chapter aims to show how the everyday experiences of nurses as professionals and migrants result firstly, in a particular set of interests and desired outcomes of migration, which to some extent conflict with other stakeholders in the migration debate (Xu and Zhang, 2005: 578), and secondly, in a different vantage point from which nurses engage with the ethical debate in the context of migration. By paying attention to the position of nurses within the broad ethics discourse, an alternative discourse is identified, in which nurses are located at the centre.

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© Colleen McNeil-Walsh 2010

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  • Colleen McNeil-Walsh

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