Health Workforce Migration

Project Details

Our Unit has conducted major studies assessing the impact of global health workforce mobility in Australia, globally, and within the Asia-Pacific region.

This research assesses:

  • Skilled migration policy formation (permanent, temporary and international student pathways)
  • Foreign qualification recognition (including pathways to securing registration)
  • Factors influencing health workforce integration, distribution and retention
  • The contribution of former international students to workforce supply


Professor Lesleyanne Hawthorne


Our projects in the past 5 years have examined:

  • An evaluation of health workforce migration in medicine, dentistry and nursing on Australia compared to Canada – policy, recognition and labour market integration impacts (funded by an ARC Discovery Grant 2016-19)
  • Assessment of the Indian diaspora in the Australian labour market (funded by the Australia India Institute 2017)
  • Trends in health workforce mobility across the Asia-Pacific region (4 studies commissioned by WHO 2014-17, including assessment of trends in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji)
  • Review of the European ‘Blue Card’ skilled migration policy (as part of the global team commissioned by the European Commission 2015)
  • Current trends in circular and return health workforce migration (commissioned by the International Labour Organization 2014)
  • The impact of English language standards on health professional registration in Australia compared to the UK, Ireland, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa (for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency 2013)
  • Review of foreign qualification assessment strategies and impacts (for the Australian Physiotherapy Council 2014)
  • Preparation of the Australian Scoping Paper on health workforce migration in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy and physiotherapy (for Health Workforce Australia 2012)
  • Review of global trends in foreign qualification recognition (for the US Migration Policy Institute 2013)
  • Review of international medical student retention on the Australian health workforce (for the Medical deans of Australia 2013)

Research Group

Demography and Ageing

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Policy

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