Accepted paper:

On and Off Record: Investigating the Transnational Nature of Egyptian Health Professionals' Mobility


Yasmine Ahmed (The American University in Cairo )

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates the gendered and class-based aspects of Egyptian health professionals' mobility to the EU countries. It argues that their mobility is highly circular thanks to the transnational nature of the infrastructures that they have created over the last forty years.

Paper long abstract:

A large majority of Egyptian health professionals have experienced mobility at some point of their career paths. This paper investigates the gendered and class-based aspects of their mobility to the EU countries, and argues that it is highly circular due to the transnational nature of the infrastrctures that they have created at the institutional and familial levels in both sending and recieving countries over the last forty years. Based on in-depth interviews with health professionals, migration brokers and government officials at the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population, I show that health professionals in Egypt retain their governmental or public sector positions while moving, as working in these institutions entitles them to short and long term benefits, professional credibility in their home country, and a sense of job security. Moreover, the flexibility of labour laws allows them to do so. Furthermore, Egyptian labour laws generally encourage external mobility in the form of migration as labour migration has been a solution for the Egyptian state to acquire foreign currency in order to recover financially from debts, through remittances, to solve unemployment / underemployment issues, and to deal with low-wage issues, particularly for highly-skilled professionals, such as health practitioners. Ultimately, this paper challenges the existing typology of health professionals' mobility, hence, contributing the understanding of the processes of medical globalization are shaped by the manifold mobilities of human and non-human actors.

panel P085
Engineering mobilities: exploring the infrastructures mediating transnational highly-skilled migration [ANTHROMOB] [Traditional panel]