The OECD has released the latest edition of its Health at a Glance report which compares a range of indicators about population health and the performance of the health system across its member states. One interesting aspect of healthcare it touched on is the extent to which western countries rely on foreign-trained doctors and nurses. Indeed, medical personnel who were educated abroad play a vital role in maintaining the proficiency of health systems in many developed countries and in 2017, more than one in six doctors in OECD states obtained at least their first medical degree in another country.
Out of all OECD countres, Israel had the highest share of foreign-trained doctors at 57.7 percent, followed by New Zealand with 42.4 percent and Ireland with 42.3 percent. In many cases, foreign-trained doctors consist of immigrant physicians along with an ever increasing number of native-born people who were trained overseas. In the United States, a quarter of all doctors were foreign-trained in 2017 with around a third of those American citizens. Some countries are able to persuade their medical students to stay through a combination of factors such as cheaper education or a broader selection of courses. Turkey was the OECD country with the lowest share of foreign-trained doctors in 2017 at just 0.2 percent.
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