World Bank cites Dominica’s emigration of physicians, skilled labor

Almost all physicians – 97.2 percent – trained in Dominica have emigrated abroad, according to the World Bank’s second edition of ‘Migration and Remittances Factbook, 2011’.

The report also reveals that the island loses a staggering 64.2 percent of its overall skilled labor force to emigration.

The report ranks Dominica at number 14 on the list of top emigration rate of the tertiary-educated. Guyana, Grenada and Jamaica rank rank one to three, respectively, in the top 10.

St. Lucia suffers similar woes as it loses two in every three of its physicians to greener pastures and is the last in the top-ten list of top emigration rate.

Dominica did not make the 2009 or 2010 top-ten list of recipients of remittances.

Further, the report’s stock of emigrants report shows 69.3 thousand or 104.1 percent of the general population migrating to the United States, United Kingdom, U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Barbados and Greece.

According to the report, the stock of emigrants as percentage of population is defined as the ratio of emigrants of the country to the population — not the sum of population and migrants. “Because of this definition, this ratio may exceed 100 percent in certain cases (e.g., Dominica.),” the report states.

A BBC Caribbean report indicates that the figures appear to be some years old but points out that there is no doubt in the trend.

Some three percent of the world’s population or over 200 million people live outside their country of birth, having moved to escape poverty and unemployment or political and social repression.

This migration of people across international borders affects economic growth and social welfare in both sending and receiving countries.

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  1. Tom Tom
    November 13, 2010

    @Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity: You justify why so many of us migrate .Shitheads like you accept mediocracy of P.M Skerrit’s type. I’ll tell you why I clasify you as the aforementioned.You stated you cannot stamina people who do not think it is human to err bla bla, bla, people who are not perfect mistakes etc more bull. he is not perfect bla,bla,bla.I am glad you recognise the mediocracy of the P.M he is a duplicate of the former P.M you were implying P.J.Even more imperfect cause he is associated and begs from one who was ina similar predicament as Chavez.So What’s your point.P.J may have not been the most eloquent but he spoke and new english creole well. Now the current speak neither english nor creole(holds a french passport.) You then reverted to the backwardness of religion which has kept black peeps in subject over the years.
    You make me sick , your simplicity step up to 2010’s reality compartrioit.

    November 13, 2010

    Enough with all of the talking…same old stuff day in day out,week in,week out,.year in,year out..All your keep hearing about is vain and unfulfilled promises..TALK is CHEAP!……..ENOUGH,IS ENOUGH already!..NOW is the time for all Dominicans to act…..Let your voices be heard….MAKE YOUR GOVERNMENT LISTEN TO YOU!…

    PEOPLE of DOMINICA need to start taking a different view of themselves and their worth…WAKE UP from your sleepless slumber!…..IT IS TIME TO UNITE AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOURSELVES,YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR COUNTRY!

    Thank you…

    All the Best…..and….
    Peace profound!!

  3. Anonymous
    November 12, 2010

    And the World Bank of which Robert Zoelick is president, and who was on DA last June, is concerned for what reason?
    The ability of DA to repay its loans to the World Bank?
    Those bankers know better and they know exactly what they are doing……..
    It is called a “set up.”

    Remember “nothing is free, especially not money with no strings attached.”

    But don’t worry, the U.S. will be added to the list of 3rd world countries very soon with the infusion of the 600 billion fiat dollars created by the Fed, an arm of the World Bank and IMF. Hyperinflation will kill everything.

  4. Going where the grass appears to be GREENER
    November 12, 2010

    Create more sustainable jobs, better pay and work conditions…they will stay. continue to have the unstable economic environment we’ve been enjoying for more than 30 years they will go…this is all about the bottom line for the worker, trained as well as untrained, skilled as well as unskilled. People will continue to gravitate to places where the grass appear greener even when its just a quote of green paint that’s on the brown grass…yes they will still go. and those who stay here some bitchy ass boss try to push them around because in Dominica we know it all

  5. yes i
    November 12, 2010

    @No Name 2: it has a civil engeneer dat just finish in UWI trinidad hope he the work! (jackie J…..) and will not be disappointed like many of us after returning home!!

  6. alright
    November 12, 2010

    people please most cuban trained dominican doctors migrate to the us anyways

  7. Conscious
    November 12, 2010

    The World Bank needs to be informed about the training of doctors here. The great majority of persons who are trained as Doctors in Dominica are foreign students. Dominica is not their home country. So, they are not emigrants in the true sense of the word.

  8. alright
    November 12, 2010

    @No Name 2: agree, don’t know whnat is gong on. people keep building in new areas and it seem like the roads in these new areeas are even smaller. i keep wondering what is going on. on top of that theer seem to be no planning you need to walk through foot trails to get from one yard to the next this nonsense must stop.

  9. Cassandra
    November 12, 2010

    We should not always react so defensively when presented with statistics like these. It is absolutely normal for people to migrate and seek their fortunes elsewhere. There, are plenty of other countries where this applies and I cite here the isle of Cyprus as an example. It boasts the highest number of graduates per capita in the world but the majority of them live “overseas”. They are proud of their achievements and tend to maintain strong ties with their “mother land” and so should we. We should be proud of educating our people, even if they do not have an opportunity to make a living here. The power of the U.S.A. is based largely on immigrants, who (or who’s forebears) left their countries of birth to seek a better future and if we are to portray an image of Dominicans abroad I’d rather it be one of successful people we can all be proud of, regardless where they reside.

  10. monti
    November 12, 2010

    @Messenger: Sounds like a good theory but one think I can attest to is the top management are usually resistant to change or suggestions from outsides esp when the outsiders are younger!

  11. init
    November 11, 2010

    I think the picture is quite clear, the writing may not be 100%, but we must try to see beyond that, and understand the message.

    It is indeed 100% true that Dominica is unable to retain its doctors, one must speak directly to any doctor practicing in Dominica, and you will no doubt understand why they are unable to remain here. We all try to be patriotic sometimes, but when an in-house officer (not consultant eh) works for 72 hours non-stop (no sleep), then you will say that there are some crazy people in the administrative section of the Ministry of Health. Can a human being really put up with this? To add insult to injury these people are underpaid, and can’t even enjoy a decent standard of living, while persons who has never graced the foot of a college, nor can produce are enjoying bigger salaries from the government.

    Also, other professionals will continue to go, because sometimes we talk about love for country, and I will admit some persons will genuinely die for country, but majority when rough time hits will make the obvious choice of saving self and not country.

    This is an opportunity for Dominica to begin showing at least an ounce of appreciation for professionals who have made the sacrifice to go out there, get trained and voluntarily return home to make a meaningful contribution.

  12. Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
    November 11, 2010

    @Tom Tom:

    I have my views and as I visualize and I form my opinions as I read the comments right on this Website. You have your views. They do not represent mine and vice versa. I do not and cannot think like you nor can you do likewise where I am concerned.
    This is what makes people different, each possessing his/her own individual personality and characteristic traits. Everyone should be able to reason out matters for themselves and they should be fair and just. You do not want to be wrong. You think you are correct and more so than any one else.
    In person, I am fair and just. I am reiterating that no matter what the PM does as you and his opponents perceive him to do, there is absolutely no reason to lambaste him in public and through the Media. It is wrong. Everyone should be accorded due respect. There are ways of handling matters and peacefully. There are those who act as if they are at war with the Prime Minister and he is at war with them. They also act as if they are the Prime Minister of Dominica.
    Please! One government at a time. Thank you! Dominica has room for only one Prime Minister at one time.
    Governments cannot please everyone. Just as they have opponents, they have their supporters. Ask yourself why.
    If there is one thing, rather another that I cannot stamina is people demeaning others and in public specifically someone as the Prime Minister, a man of his stature. He deserves respect just as you deserve respect. It is unfair and uncalled for to call him derogatory names.
    It is unfair that a national should write the EU against the Prime Minister. They must have been shocked when they received the writing. I would think that he is out of place to do so. I have never heard of a national writing against his PM and requesting that financial help not be sent to that nation.
    To err is human which is attributed to each and everyone of us. My conclusion is that there are people who are not perfect and also in their own private lives. Yet they expect perfection from others. People are human and so is the Prime Minister. He is liable to make mistakes.
    Note previous Dominica Prime Ministers. One of them almost sold Dominica. If it were not for the hands of God protecting Dominica from such an ill fate what would have happened to Dominica then? Only God knew. This was a world-wide scandal. What had they done for Dominica specifically a few of them?
    I suggest that you read specifically the New Testament from the Gospel of St. John to the Book of Revelation.
    Whatever I say and I do, I do my utmost to do so in the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ who said: “Love one another. Do not hate. Be peaceful”. Vengeance is Mine I will repay.” It is all in Holy Scriptures.
    If you want to be happy and to be peaceful, you must generate same to others. I do not create problems for myself or for others. I love the peaceful life. Thanks be to God.

    Peace perfect peace.

  13. maestro279
    November 11, 2010

    i strongly believe that this country need to create more incentives for professionals to stay on island. i keep saying DUTY FREE instead of giving it to retirees….. give it to persons who work on this island for a period of time in those jobs like government employed teachers, post workers, police and medicine.
    5 years on island duty free on a vehicle of value 50,000.

    10-15 years duty free on building materials


  14. No Name 2
    November 11, 2010

    @Observer: civil engineering???? planning division needs you so bad….people building homes practically in de road…don’t build driveways…roads with no sidewalks…ur skills are so needed rite now

  15. BossLa
    November 11, 2010

    I’ve read all the comments so far. All I can say is that we’ll have to clarify what exactly they mean by ‘trained in Dominica’. It could just mean Dominicans trained in the field of medecin.

    November 11, 2010

    If the majority of medical students are technically foreigners, then rightly they cannot be classed as Dominicans.

    The medical profession across the so called third world is facing the same problem. Their graduates do not always return to their homeland to practise. Half of the doctors and nurses in the UK and America are foreign.

    Dominica needs qualified professionals, not just in medicine, but across the board. There is a large amount of so called professionals in the public eye who should return to studing. News readers are on top of my list. To many mistakes, to many mispronounced words. To much looking down at their script and not enough reading the cue card (do they have cue cards?), thus making it impossible to make eye contact with the viewers, and why do they have the same monotonous droll.

    If I should be so bold as to suggest that they study ‘media and communications’.

    Maybe thats not such a good idea, because once qualified they would travel to foreign shores to ply their trade.

  17. Tom Tom
    November 11, 2010

    @Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity: You began well even excellent but then did not follow your GPS (logic) and there you turned me off. You mention Chrisitianity then committed a cardinal sinstating: decent politics- that’s an oximoron.Am a professional exile,who read daily visit /2yrs and conditions I have found to be deteriating steadily. You mentioned no respect for the country’s leader is wanting. What do you expect when the whole society has become spiral?Dotish fraud like income tax evation by your P.M(no excuse,don’t eventry talking to me about it) Lookat the Nopeul issue with his brother on the Bins come on! Even the opposition is full of it.Examine the crusader on the between you and me Saturday bon- fire show 3-6 p.m.How quickly we forget this individual’s attitude before his fall.He was best of friends with the former minister of Tourism (alias For a $) he served him Juice , icecream, etc as a boy at the TM center in the early 70’s between meditations. he was also best of friends when he was on his high horse at DCP now Colgate Palmolive.By the way Colgate means hang one’s self in espanol.He did hang self in Antigua and is en- route to repeating it . Look Matt has given in to Skerrit et Al. So you see my friend( as our P.M love to say, DA is way passed screwed.Remember Humpy Dumpty? Not even all the Kings men could put him together again. Chinese,Venezuelans,Haitians are infiltrating and the elections are forever swang in a direction never seenand heard before. How i wish we had a military.

    November 11, 2010

    @My2Sense: That may be true my friend. But Government need to create an atmosphere that is attractive to investment….Also,Govt. need to create opportunities for the People…
    People migrate for a various number of reasons including better earning potentials in other Countries…It simply means that, we are not providing adequate opportunities for our People.
    Keep in mind that People are a Country’s greatest asset.

    Look here,the stimulus of a Economy is Investments and a solid work force…Investments create jobs…..Economic growth is a result of Economic development. But, we cannot have economic growth without economic development…We need development in order to get growth. Economic growth can neutralize debts and deficits.

    Economic growth and development,does not come on a political trail. All our problems are not going to be solved by politicians…But there is where the Government come in, because , Govt.has been invested with a lot of power,and it is with the use of that power,they can help the People.
    One of the obligations of Government is to facilitate the creation of opportunity for ts People.
    People should be given the opportunity to work their way out of poverty and to pursue happiness.

    Fundamentally important…The definition of Government:
    “All men are created equal.They are endowed by the CREATOR with inalienable Rights,among them are the Right to LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS. And it is to secure these Rights that Governments are instituted among Men”.
    This is the primary purpose for which Govt. exist……You see, there is no need for Government, unless it is to improve the lives of its Citizens……They have an obligation,and must be held accountable to the People.

    We need an intellectual revolution and a transformation of the mind. We also need innovative mechanisms to make the Country better. We are suffering from a lack of vision.Dominica needs Leadership with the interest of Dominica and its People at heart. Not interest of Party and supporters.

    All the best to you….and….
    Peace Profound!!

  19. just saying
    November 11, 2010


  20. Kanpeche
    November 11, 2010

    What are we talking about? 99% of physicians trained in Dominica are foreigners to begin with. it is only normal that they return to their home country. They are not emigrating – for to emigrate means that you are leaving your home country to go settle else where . They are buy-me-a-medical-degree “doctors” who are returning home after an extended fun-in-the-sun. On their way out, they hand them a medical degree for all the money that their parents paid to Ross. You guys know what I am saying is true: The majority of the so called medical students at Ross did poorly in college and the MCATS, and ended up in Dominica, because the standards are much lower.

  21. Eyes Wide Open
    November 11, 2010

    `97.2% represents physicians “trained” in Dominica` ? That`s bullcrap World Bank and you guys know it. You organisations just think you know it all. There are very few Dominicans who are trained in the field of Medcine in Dominica. The majority are foreigners ex. ROSS US students and ALL Saints foreign students, therefore this statement while may be true for the one or two Dominicans who study at ROSS and ALL Saints, its not true for the number of Dominicans who actually go out say to UWI and Cuba to study Medecine, most of these students do come back and give their contribution. Just look at the number of doctors who studied in cuba we have at the hospital, most of our engineers are cuban grads, our accountants, our agronomists, vets etc.. the marjority studied in Cuba and/or UWI and they are returning to Dominica to work. So this article has no meaning to me.

  22. Anonymous
    November 11, 2010

    There are small lies, big lies and statistics. I am not saying the statistics is lying, but the statistics need to be taken in context. If almost 3% of the physicians trained in Dominica remains here, that would be great. It would mean that when persons come here from wherever to study, some find it lucative to stay here. Yeh right! Do you believe that?

    Our statistical diviison should give a more realistic and practical picture by telling us how many Dominicans study medicine (Cuba, China, Jamaica ….) and what is the retention rate. We may find that the one or two year retention rate it is relatively high. Then tell us how many of our Dominicans who go to specialise return, or stay here for any length of time. That is where we will get the real picture.

    Let me use this opportunity to complement the young Dominican specialists who have decided to serve here. Now I can think of Dr Blanc, Dr Roberts, Dr St Luce, Dr Lambert. There may be more – others can help me with the names.

  23. Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
    November 11, 2010


    You have raised a few good points. This is a good idea but it means funding. Where is the money coming from? There is already a national who wrote to the EU against providing his very own country with funds.
    When governments offer incentives, the funds must come from somewhere and this means in the form of raising taxes. Will Dominicans want to pay higher taxes even though in the long run they will be the beneficiary of those incentives?
    As much as Dominicans love their country, it will take a lot for them to uproot what they have achieved overseas and return to their beloved land of birth. This does not mean that they love residing in another country and that these countries are better than Dominica, such as also being a cold one which has approximately 9 months of winter and as in other countries where criminal activities and murders are escalating as some people become more godless.
    The high cost of living is a primary deterrent. As an example, consider a pound and/or a kilo of sugar, a tube of toothpaste and other essentials as also food in the US, Canada and Europe in comparison to Dominica. In those countries there are seasonal sales and non-seasonal ones. People in those countries live for sales, if you know what I mean. The general stores as the grocery stores compete with each other for the business of customers. People are looking to save be it a few cents or a few dollars.
    Then I have noticed that when a few items/produce go on sale, others are increased. I am not shy about speaking about it to the manager of the store or other customer service clerks. They could deceive the customers as well but I am not deceived.
    This does not mean that the cost of living is not high in those big countries. It does not take much to spend a few hundred dollars in one day. No joking! It all depends on their needs and priorities.
    There are other reasons why Dominicans, no exception other islanders do not return to their native land.
    Another matter is politics. Since I have been accessing DON and reading the blogs, shockingly I shake my head at the comments, insults, name calling and word throwing which some people write. There are times I cannot help but smile and laugh and state: “Who are those people who provide these comments? Are they all Dominican residents or Dominican non-residents?
    Granted they may represent a small percentage of Dominican residents but it does not paint a good picture to those who reside outside which will encourage them to return home.
    Everyone is entitled to their freedom of right and speech. However, freedom of speech can go too far. It is scandalous that some of them lambaste their Prime Minister and consistently so in the worst way and for the least possible act, demeaning him and calling him uncomplimentary names. They have portrayed that they have no respect for him. Whatever his faults (everyone has faults) it is uncalled for. We could disagree with a leader or head of state but we should never insult him/her and call him/her such derogatory names. Furthermore, it is unChristian-like. I often wonder and as I have previously commented are those people who make such statements Christians?
    If I returned to Dominica and wanted to enter politics this type of exhibition would deter me from becoming involved in it. My thought is “enter at your own risk”, life or death.
    Some of them are not striving for perfection in their manner of speech and what they state on DON. And they are so negative, also crying-down their own country. They can really turn people off even though they do not know them.
    When an election is called, those who oppose each other commence fighting. They appear not to know that people are free to agree and disagree amicably without resorting to physical fights and name calling for all to hear even on Websites, Radio and newspapers. Is this decent politics? Some of them have not learned to get along with others.
    Then from what some of them write it is noted that there are the disobedient ones who do not appreciate authority which is putting it mildly.
    There are the critics who do not appreciate Dominicans who reside abroad and who also visit to offer their opinion and comment on certain matters.
    The example projected to the outside world, to Dominicans who reside overseas is not a good one.
    Having stated the above, these are only a few factors which could cause some Dominicans not to return. Even though Dominicans would like to return home, they will state why bother to return to Dominica?
    So you see my fellow Dominican (and Dominicans), Dominicans abroad may not be able to change the attitude of Dominican residents. Unless there is some major change, those abroad may never return permanently.
    As much as they love their country, they may just have to settle to visit occasionally. They are not to be blamed.

  24. Watcher
    November 11, 2010

    @My2Sense: Yes u are definitely corrrect. The 97 % for physicians are those trained at Ross University.

  25. Hmmm
    November 11, 2010

    Has anyone considered the fact that Ross University and now All Saints “TRAIN” a very high number of physicians every year? Well duh……obviously they return to their respective countries…they are NOT dominicans.

    Come on World Bank, aren’t you aware that there are two foreing medical schools in Dominica?

    STUPES .

    This is the same way that America could say that they train millions and millions migrate…because many of us go to the US to train/study.

    Lets’s not be so gullible.

  26. My2Sense
    November 11, 2010

    Also, we need some of our professionals to be more enterprising. It isn’t practical for everyone returning home to expect a job waiting. More folks need to be able to take the steps necessary to own their own businesses.

    The notion that either government, or a bank, or a family member will have a job waiting is one that has caused much disappointment.

    The issue of access to credit and venture funding for new projects need to be addressed in order to facilitate business start-ups. But that is another forum…

  27. My2Sense
    November 11, 2010

    The first statistic used is misleading; 97.2% represents physicians “trained” in Dominica. Most of the people are not even Dominican nationals; they are foreign students attending school at Ross University. For this reason I do not think that this statistic should be alarming.

    The other statistics, however, should be noted and acted upon.

  28. Observer
    November 11, 2010

    Sad reality, but unless something is done, the trend will continue. I know it is difficult. When I went to study I had intention to return home, but at the end of my 6 yrs, and completing a masters in civil engineering the prospect at home seems less appealing. The cost of certain items needs to be reduced, and some means of creating jobs, or fostering an environment for investors, needs to be addressed. For example, it is just way to expensive to get a car in Dominica. As far as I am concern a car is now a basic necessity, not a luxury. Someone does not need to pay 100% duty on a car, such a big investment already. At least reduce the imput duty and gradually increase registration fee to ease the budden on someone just returnign from study and starting off – make such things more attractive to young educated people. And food prices are outrageous. When people live in conditions where such commities are so relatively cheap, its had to change. And then the social life. All in all, it is very difficult to compete with developed countries, but some innovative ways need to be develop by those in power, and those with the dollars.

  29. My2Sense
    November 11, 2010

    I am an educated/skilled person who came back home.

    We all know scores of people who reside overseas; professionals, skilled individuals and academics. It saddens me because as far removed as they are, these people are unable to contribute significantly to the development of our country. But I do not blame them; most people do what is best for their personal advancement and/or the well being of their family.

    However, my personal view is this; if I don’t come back, if I don’t give back to Dominica, if I don’t run our businesses and run for national office, if I don’t make babies and take care of our elderly… then who will???

    Good paying jobs are scarce and “pull-string” is still abundant. Political malice and greed taint our morals and skew our reasoning. But are these reasons enough to run away?

    That is My2Sense

  30. Messenger
    November 11, 2010

    we need more patriotic Dominicans to return evenif for a brief moment to offer Dominica some of their expertise. Government canbegin to consider a program of encouraging overseas based Dominican professionals to consider taking Sabathicals from their jobs and return home on a government organized program so as to offer their skills and talents to the development of Dominica. Government can consider playing host (by coordinating, providing housing where necessary and some basic needs) to the program. It has to be a well detailed program. In that way we can benefit from the expertise outside.

  31. monti
    November 11, 2010

    I have always believed that there are more Dominicans living outside of the country than inside and statistics have proven my theory correct. Sad to say, I am part of the statictics which live outside. However, I must add that the opportunity I have now – I would never have obtained if I stayed in Da.
    Sometimes I wonder – if all the skilled citizens did not migrate, would Da be any better off?

  32. warma
    November 11, 2010

    This is indeed depressing news. This government, and successive ones as well, must focus on reversing this trend. The country cannot move to the proverbial “higher level” if this problem persists. Efforts must be made to not only retain what we have, but to encourage a return of those overseas. Obviously a low percentage relative to the volume of people out there, may be able to be enticed to do that, but the objective is to entice some who have the necessary skills and knowledge to help those back home move forward. Retention of those back home and a move to bring home others has to be done simultaneously – they can’t be done separately, and it must be financed by both the public and private sectors. Through incentives and partnerships, the government must first entice the private sector to create jobs for those back home while at the same time encouraging those with expertise in these fields who reside overseas to return and invest in these businesses as well as to manage their development. This is a win-win situation for the country. And above all, this must be done without regard to an individual’s political persuasions. Too many good people are denied jobs, advancement etc because somebody in power know they don’t support their party. This is ridiculous. Things must change. People’s mindset must change. That’s the only way forward.

  33. Dread!
    November 11, 2010

    Well after doing that the World Bank itself needs to change some of it’s policies when it comes to aiding countries like Dominica. Their policies are one of the many reasons for the migration. Because of forcing countries like Dominica to import nonsense which they don’t really need, countries like Dominica cannot foster the better initiation of ‘buy local’ campaigns and become more self-reliant. All because they need loans from the World Bank. In that case, less jobs are created in Dominica and people migrate. So it’s not only the statistics they should check. They need to check how their actions are impacting the “TREND”.

  34. Hey
    November 11, 2010

    This is alarming.

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