Support the Basic Human Right to Immigrate – AAIHR supports the basic human right of individual healthcare professionals to exercise their freedom of choice to migrate, and to enjoy career advancement and professional opportunities, as well as improved quality of life for themselves and their families.
Support Legal Immigration – We support lawful immigration of healthcare professionals from foreign countries to work in the U.S. provided they meet all federal and state qualifications for entry and practice.
Understand the Link Between Availability of Qualified Staff and Safe, Quality Healthcare – We understand that safe, quality health care is directly dependent upon an adequate supply, distribution, and utilization of qualified and committed healthcare professionals and that America should be implementing a variety of methods to ensure adequate supply of such professionals, of which legal and ethical international recruitment is one such method.
Affirm the Benefits of International Recruitment to American Patients – AAIHR member organizations affirm the many potential benefits of international recruitment to U.S. patients and American healthcare organizations, including the alleviation of chronic and growing US healthcare worker shortages and the provision of culturally sensitive healthcare for America’s growing multicultural patient population.
Recognize the Potential Benefits of Foreign Recruitment to Source Countries – Our members recognize the potential benefits to source countries of ethical and socially responsible recruitment of healthcare professionals. Remittances by migrating expatriate healthcare professionals often help fund the source country’s healthcare system, replenish the supply of healthcare workers, and improve the quality of life for the migrating professional’s family members.
Commit to Responsible Sourcing of Foreign-Trained Healthcare Professionals – AAIHR member organizations acknowledge the potential adverse effect that international migration may have on health care quality in countries seriously depleted of their healthcare professional workforce, and commit to conducting international healthcare recruitment in a globally responsible manner. We also acknowledge the benefits of circular migration and support initiatives that encourage healthcare professionals to return to their home countries for periods of service.
Commit to Ethical Recruitment and Employment Practices – AAIHR denounces unethical behavior by any party in the international recruitment process. Recruiters, employers, regulatory organizations, and foreign healthcare professionals each have a responsibility to protect one another from false information, misleading claims, withholding of relevant information, and exploitation. Each party has a responsibility to represent themselves accurately, to deal with the other parties honestly and forthrightly, and to honour their legal and contractual obligations.
Call for Sensible Regulation of International Healthcare Recruitment – AAIHR calls for governments and regulatory organizations to implement fair, humane, and sensible policies and processes for international healthcare recruitment that respect the issues and concerns of the migrating healthcare professionals, their prospective U.S. employers, and the health systems in both their home countries and their destination countries (see AAIHR Position Statement on Immigration Reform).
Very few informed Americans would argue that the US immigration system should be reformed. There has been considerable debate about immigration reform over the last decade, with little legislative progress. While much of the debate centers on undocumented workers, deportations, and border security issues, few disagree that the legal system of immigration is inadequate to meet our country’s needs.
At the same time, America faces a critical shortage for physicians, registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals. The current and worsening shortages are driven by a variety of factors including:
AAIHR believes that healthcare professionals should be given a priority over other occupations in our immigration system. Access to healthcare is a fundamental right of every American. Without adequate numbers of highly skilled healthcare professionals, many Americans are at risk of going without much needed healthcare, especially in rural communities and underserved populations. By cultivating a global workforce, AAIHR believe that the United States can more effectively meet the healthcare needs of its citizens.