Published: 29/07/2004, Volume II4, No. 5916 Page 20 21

This week, the HSJ reader panel was asked: do you think it is ethical to recruit health professionals from the developing world?

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have recruited from overseas quite extensively, and am considering doing so again.Working within the Department of Health guidelines is sufficient protection against ethical issues. In an increasingly globalised economy, we have to accept the free movement of capital and labour.

Steve Gulati, director of human resorces and organisational development, Leicester City West primary care trust There certainly is an ethical dimension to this issue.The situation could become more acceptable if there was more control on numbers, agreement with the country in question over the process, and if the NHS trained the staff so that it would benefit their own countries when they returned home.This cannot be done piecemeal, and needs some government-to-government work to ensure a fair deal.

Alan Denton, HR director, Salisbury Health Care trust Whether it is ethical depends on the country and the professional group.Sometimes It is definitely unethical. But some countries deliberately train extra staff, who then work here and send money home to support their families.

This is quite a good plan. Indeed it would be great to think that the government was anticipating our demand and proactively working with other countries like these for our mutual benefit.

Steve Collins, director of strategic development, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare trust