The New England Journal of Medicine   |  December 11, 2011

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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the world faces a shortage of 4.3 million health professionals required for delivering essential health care services to populations in need. This shortage constitutes a major barrier to the provision of essential lifesaving health services, such as childhood immunization and the prevention and treatment of HIV–AIDS. International migration and recruitment of health personnel from low- and middle-income countries is an important contributing factor. In Zimbabwe, for example, of 1200 physicians trained between 1990 and 2001, only 360 remained in the country in 2006.

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