Going Global: Insights of Indonesian Policymakers on International Migration of Nurses

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2021 Nov 26:14:3285-3293. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S327962. eCollection 2021.


Background: The Indonesian policymakers need to respond to the current challenges, particularly the excess of nurses and the increased demand for nurses in the global market.

Objective: This study aimed to present the perception of policymakers and stakeholders on the management of overseas migration of Indonesian nurses.

Methods: This study is a descriptive qualitative design where data were collected through structured interviews with key stakeholders representing the Indonesian government, namely the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of Labour (MOL), Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Indonesian Migrant Workers Protection Agency (BP2MI). The in-depth interviews involved participants who were responsible for managing Indonesian nurses' migration. The qualitative data were analyzed thematically using a content analysis approach.

Results: The issues involving nurses' migration policy are quite complex and sectoral. Themes emerging from this study include the move towards global market orientation, addressing challenges on international nurse migration, strengthening coordination among stakeholders and making the most of opportunities. All the themes reflect that the country should work hard to achieve the balance between quantity and quality of nursing resources for the international market.

Conclusion: As regulator and executor of Indonesian nurse migration, various government policies have responded to the low number of Indonesian nurses' migration overseas, emphasizing the three cycles of migration: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. The preparation of resources, regulations and placements for Indonesian nurses abroad open the opportunity to the international nursing labour market. Hence, the policies need to be strengthened from upstream to downstream to make Indonesian nurses more competitive and adaptive in global market.

Keywords: Indonesian nurses; active labour market policies; global jobs; health worker; migration; workforce.

Grants and funding

This research obtained a “Hibah Riset Mandat” grant from Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia with contract number 346/UN3/2020.