The ‘brain drain’, resulting from the recruitment by the UK of highly qualified mental health professionals from middle- and low-income countries, has been described as a serious problem effecting the service provision, training and research capacity of these countries (Doku & Mallett, 2003; Thara et al, 2004). Although this issue is important, the benefits of such migration are seldom highlighted. Professionals who migrate often invest in families and businesses in their home country and are a source of valuable foreign income. Many professionals undergo specialised training and gain experience not available in their home countries and then return to provide an enhanced level of service (Tareen, 2000). Such movement may also serve a catalytic purpose. An example of a sector that has gained enormously from the so-called brain drain is information technology in India, which is built largely around expatriates in the USA and their networks back home. The high profile of Indian information technology experts has encouraged a whole new generation to pursue excellence in this field.
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