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Apply til 15 March: Distributing Human Resources for Health–Ethics and Health Policy

2012 Brocher Summer Academy in Global Population Health – 18-22 June 2012.

Location: Villa Brocher, Hermance, Switzerland.

Website: http://bit.ly/zP8eDN [1]

Applications are accepted until 15 March 2012.


Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University
Dan Brock, Harvard University
Simon Caney, University of Oxford
Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development
Mario Dal Poz, World Health Organization
Speranta Dumitru, Université Paris Descartes
Gilles Dussault, Instituto de Higiene et Medicina Tropical, Lisbon
John Harris, Manchester University
Lisa Hirschhorn, Partners in Health
Gottlieb Monekosso, Former Minister of Public Health, Cameroon & Emeritus Director, WHO Africa Region
Fitzhugh Mullan, GW University (plenary)
Thomas Pogge, Yale University
John Roemer, Yale University
Peter Suter, Swiss Academies of Sciences
Jonathan Wolff, University College London

Of all the resources needed to conquer AIDS, TB, Malaria, and the other great threats to human health in the developing world, none is more essential than the people – doctors, nurses, scientists, and many others – who together constitute the workforce of health systems. Like money, drugs and other key resources, they are scarce. In other respects, however, they stand out among resources for health, for unlike pills and euros they have rights, and minds of their own, and they don’t necessarily go where health resource allocators want to send them.

The ethical issues that must be faced in responding to the critical shortage of trained health professionals in countries bearing the greatest burden of disease are likewise distinctive. Even the richest countries are short, and they are filling empty posts by offering jobs to well-trained health workers in the poorest countries. In the latter, lower incomes and difficult working conditions provide motivation to emigrate to where pay is higher, some research and career opportunities are more available, and living can be easier. This may enhance health workers’ job prospects and the quality of their lives, but the cumulative effect on the health of the populations they leave behind can be devastating. Medical brain drain flows virtually in one direction only; doctors, nurses, and scientists from wealthy countries do not clamour for appointments in the poor ones.

This ethical challenge will be addressed at the 2012 Summer Academy in the Ethics of Global Population Health, hosted by the Brocher Foundation on the shores of Lake Geneva. These biannual events introduce faculty and advanced graduate students to the fast-developing field of population-level bioethics, which addresses ethical questions, not in individual patient care, but in population- and global health.

The Summer Academy consists in five all-day sessions with lectures and discussions by internationally-renowned scholars in philosophy, the social and biomedical sciences, and global health practitioners. Apart from the faculty, participants are younger scholars and advanced graduate students, selected on the basis of their potential to become prominent contributors to the field. Early morning sessions address broad themes and methodological issues, and the rest of the day is dedicated to a specific set of dilemmas, this year, human resources for health.


Samia Hurst, University of Geneva
Nir Eyal, Harvard University
Dan Wikler, Harvard University


40 young scholars (post-doctoral fellows, junior faculty, and advanced graduate students) in philosophy, political science, economics and other social sciences, the biomedical sciences, and global health, and practitioners and professionals in health policy and global health. Participation is free, but a fee of CH 550, required of all those accepted for participation, covers course documentation, 5 nights of accommodation, 5 lunches and 4 dinners, and local transportation.

Your application form at http://bit.ly/zP8eDN should be accompanied by a short CV, one writing sample, and a one-paragraph description of your current research interests.