Can We Care for Aging Persons without Worsening Global Inequities? The Case of Long-Term Care Worker Migration from the Anglophone Caribbean

Public Health Ethics 10 (3) (2017)
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Abstract

The international migration of health workers, including long-term care workers for aging populations, contributes to a shortage of these workers in many parts of the world. In the Anglophone Caribbean, LCW shortages and the migration of nurses to take on LCW positions abroad threaten the health of local populations and widen global inequities in health. Many responses have been proposed to address the international migration of health workers generally, including making it more difficult for these workers to emigrate and increasing and improving local employment opportunities. In this article, we suggest an additional means of ethically reducing health worker migration, targeting the Anglophone Caribbean specifically. Countries in this region can take advantage of their warmer climate and well-trained work force to encourage aging populations in the global north to emigrate temporarily or permanently through international retirement migration. As a result, countries in the Anglophone Caribbean can not only decrease the international migration of trained health workers through the provision of well-paying, local jobs, but potentially reverse this flow by drawing on the international diaspora of their workers. International retirement migration, if carefully managed, can reduce global inequities in health while treating both retirees and LCWs ethically.

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Jeremy Snyder
Simon Fraser University

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