The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Mexican nursing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the context of nurse migration, experts view trade agreements as either vehicles for facilitating migration or as contributing to brain-drain phenomena. Using a case study design, this study explored the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the development of Mexican nursing. Drawing results from a general thematic analysis of 48 interviews with Mexican nurses and 410 primary and secondary sources, findings show that NAFTA changed the relationship between the State and Mexican nursing. The changed relationship improved the infrastructure capable of producing and monitoring nursing human resources in Mexico. It did not lead to the mass migration of Mexican nurses to the United States and Canada. At the same time, the economic instability provoked by the peso crisis of 1995 slowed the implementation of planned advances. Subsequent neoliberal reforms decreased nurses' security as workers by minimizing access to full-time positions with benefits, and decreased wages. This article discusses the linkages of these events and the effects on Mexican nurses and the development of the profession. The findings have implications for nursing human resources policy-making and trade in services. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Policy and Planning
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

Keywords

  • Mexico
  • Nurses
  • health professionals
  • human resources
  • nurse migration
  • trade agreements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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