Nepal has witnessed the out-migration of health personnel, especially doctors and nurses to the countries of the Global North. A few studies have explored the out migration of health workers from Nepal but little is known about the actual numbers of health workers leaving the country, the policies governing such movement and the consequent impact of the migration of this section of skilled population. The major destination countries for the migration of nursing professionals include United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia. Since Nepal stands as one of the 57 countries listed by the WHO facing critical shortages of health workers, the current outflows is likely to exacerbate the negative impacts already visible in terms of the effectiveness and quality of health service delivery.

The paper will be based on findings from a survey conducted in the Kathmandu Valley among 600 participants consisting of final-year MBBS and nursing students along with literature review, focus group discussions with different groups of medical professionals, and interviews with key individuals and organisations. The paper will provide a comprehensive overview of the patterns, governance and consequences of out-migration of health workers from Nepal while also contributing to knowledge-building that will inform policy to effective management of migration of health workers abroad. More specifically, it will look at major trends, push and pull factors, legal framework and mechanisms; initiatives taken to retain health workers, and impact of the outflow of such a group, among others.