Migration of Health Professionals - the emergence of transnational professionalism
Sousa Ribeiro, Joana
Sociology Centre for Social Studies, CES, University of Coimbra Coimbra, Portugal
The movement of health professionals across different health systems challenges the national-base of healthcare regulation. The expansion of professional jurisdiction not only reshapes trust, discretion and competence but also extends the role of multi-level actors.
This paper is based on the analysis of the recruitment and the professional "integration" process of internationally educated physicians and nurses in a Southern European country, like Portugal. For this purpose, biographical interviews were made to nurses and physicians that came from Spain and from some East European countries to Portugal, targeting a longitudinal approach. Additionally, semi-structured interviews to institutional actors (such as the Medical Council, Nursing Council, Health Ministry, a Nurse Trade Union, a Physician Trade Union, a Nursing and Medicine Schools, a Foundation and a NGO) were carried out in order to perceive the professionalism "from the above" mentioned occupational groups, and the organizational discourse of flexibility and sustainability.
International recruitment, bilateral agreements, professional integration programs and European Union free movement regulations are explored in line with the transnational governance in healthcare and the transnationalization of professional work. In this regard, the existence of professional projects continues to matter but in a transnational, and, at some extent, neoliberal, version.