The so-called ‘brain drain’ from poor to rich countries is now robbing poorer countries of essential personnel like doctors, nurses, engineers, and the trend is set to continue, if not to get worse. Some people say this movement of people around the world is not a new phenomenon. Migrant workers have always been attracted by the wider choice of employment and greater opportunity in major cities in their own countries and abroad.
Recently, as the technological age has advanced and as richer countries find themselves with not enough workers to feed their development, they have had to run to other parts of the world to find the necessary manpower. Many richer European countries, for example, are now trying to attract skilled IT workers from my home country India by offering higher salaries than they could hope to earn at home.
With the globalisation of the world economy, many people feel that the process cannot be stopped. Others, myself included, are of the opinion that measures should be taken to address the problem, by compensating poorer countries financially for the loss of investment in the people they have trained, like doctors and nurses. Admittedly, this may be cumbersome to administer, but an attempt could be made to get it off the ground.
Another step, which in part has already begun to happen, is to use the forces of globalization itself. Western countries could encourage people to stay in their own countries by direct investment in projects like computer factories or by sending patients abroad for treatment, as is already happening. It is obviously difficult to restrict the movement of people around the world and it is probably foolish to try to stop it, but attempts should be made to redress the imbalance.