THE current Blair drive to have Gordon Brown and himself depicted in the media as the saviours of the African continent has hit the rocks, with the BMA-RCN exposure that British policy is, and has been for a number of years, to poach thousands of African doctors and nurses for the NHS.
This means that as well as having crippling levels of debt, African countries have had their doctors and nurses stolen by much wealthier Britain, condemning hundreds of thousands of African people to early deaths through lack of medical treatment.
The horrible truth is that thousands of medical personnel, who have been educated and trained in the African countries at great expense, and through society making huge sacrifices, have been poached to come to Britain, so that the government can keep down the health budget.
It is a matter of fact that while this robbery of African medical talent has been taking place, medical training centres in Britain have been run down.
Without African and other foreign medical staff, the NHS would collapse, so inadequate has been the programme for training the numbers of British doctors and nurses required. The Labour government has been content to prey on Africa and other parts of the developing world.
Nearly a third of the doctors practising in the UK were trained overseas. In comparison, only five per cent of doctors in Germany and France are not home grown.
Yesterday both the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nurses wrote a letter to Tony Blair and the G8 meeting in Gleneagles urging that body, which Prime Minister Blair will be chairing from July, to right the terrible wrong that is being done to the African people.
It urged the G8 to stop the brain-drain from the poorest countries in the world to the richest countries, a drain that is operating solely because the rich capitalist countries such as Britain are determined not to budget for the training of the required numbers of doctors and nurses.
They prefer to be a parasite on the African continent.
Doctor Edwin Borman of the BMA urged the G8 yesterday that: ‘One basic measure would be an agreement in consultation, with the World Health Organisation, to establish a basis in developed countries for minimum annual numbers of health professionals in training.
‘This would help to reduce developed country reliance on the investment in training made by developing countries.’
This is a polite way of saying that the numbers of doctors and nurses being trained in the developed countries must be enormously increased, to end countries like Britain living like vampires off the blood of the African people.
Everything about the Blair government stance is imperialist, and parasitic in the extreme.
The government claims that there is an ethical code which means it will not actively recruit from certain developing countries, which includes sub-Saharan Africa. This however does not stop healthcare professionals from these countries applying for jobs in the UK and being encouraged to do so.
The Blair government weeps crocodile tears about the condition of the Zimbabwean people. Yet, in 2003 the UK government approved work permits for 2,825 health and medical staff from Zimbabwe, 5,880 from South Africa, 1,510 from Nigeria and 850 from Ghana!
Dr Borman, chairman of the BMA’s International Committee, said: ‘Shortages of doctors and nurses are having a devastating effect in the developing world. Sub-Saharan Africa alone needs around a million more healthcare workers, and unless the situation improves drastically, rates of HIV will spiral, disability from childhood disease will rise and thousands more lives will be lost.’
The G8, and Blair and Brown will not lift a finger to stop this murder of the innocents, since imperialism is parasitic by nature, and is a system by which the ruling classes of the capitalist West live off the brutal exploitation of the oppressed nations. There is only one solution to the crisis that the BMA and the RCN have outlined, and that is world revolution to overthrow global capitalism and imperialism.