There is a widespread assumption that demographic change will produce an increasing international migration of health professionals because of a growing demand for medical services in OECD countries. I challenge this argument and show that the ageing of societies is not necessarily accompanied by a growing demand for international recruitment. Based on the analysis of the German and the British cases I show that structural characteristics of national health sectors are more appropriate to explain patterns of migration. Apart from explicit migration policy I focus on two other arenas: the overall setting of health policy and procedures of recognition of qualifications.
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