IFGH 2012: Migration of Sudanese Doctors to Ireland: Push and Pull Factors

January 31, 2012


Authors: Ibrahim N., Bidwell P.

Author Affiliations:Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin

Option 1– Scientific / Empirical Research Findings Presented as – Poster


The aim of this research was to investigate about the migration of the Sudanese doctors to work in Ireland: what are the factors that contribute to their decisions to leave Sudan and come to work in Ireland, their perception about working in Ireland and What is their future plan; whether if they are returning back to Sudan to work as doctors.


Cross-sectional quantitative research using on-line survey: SurveyMonkey.com. A sample of 120 Sudanese doctors completed the survey. Emails had been collected from doctors using Sudanese Society in Ireland and snowballing approach to recruit more doctors by sending more emails from colleagues wishing to participate in the study, which create a pool of about 345 emails.


  • Response rate 43.7 %
  • The main challenge which faces Sudanese doctors in Sudan is lack of training
  • Most of the participants in this research were from specific regions in Sudan and acquired their medical 
degree mainly from two out of 30 medical colleges in Sudan
  • Career development and training opportunities appeared to be the main incentives for working in Ireland. 
However their feeling of discrimination from their colleagues and patients, and having unequal training 
opportunities was significant
  • Most of them are planning to go and work mainly in Khartoum.

Discussion/conclusions/ implications:

  • Ireland: More understanding of the work environment of the Irish hospitals and the reasons behind Sudanese doctors as an example of foreign doctors feeling of discrimination is needed as the overseas doctors are an essential part in Irish health services.
  • Sudan: Addressing the issues of doctors training is very important to retain Sudanese doctors in Sudan. More research is needed about the migration of doctors from all the medical colleges what the differences in their migration pattern if any.
  • More research and collaboration between Sudan and Ireland is needed for finding different ways to change Sudanese negative brain drain to positive brain exchange. The government of Sudan need to reduce the pushing factors for Sudanese doctors to retain their human resources to meet Sudan’s health care needs.



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