As COVID-19 cases surge, wealthier countries are recruiting more and more nurses from poorer parts of the world.The International Council of Nurses says that’s worsening dire staffing shortages back home and furthering health inequality. The federation represents 27 million nurses and 130 national organizations.Howard Catton is the CEO."I really fear that this "quick fix solution", it's a bit similar to what we've been seeing with PPE (personal protective equipment) and with vaccines as well, where rich countries have used their economic might to buy and to hoard. And if they do that with the nursing workforce it will just make the inequity even worse, the shortages worse for many of those countries who are losing their nurses."There was a global shortage of 6 million nurses even before the pandemic. Nearly 90% of those shortages were in low and lower-middle-income countries, according to ICN data.To plug the gap, Western countries have been hiring army personnel, volunteers and retirees.But many have also turned to other countries to solve their problems.Catton says issues lie with recruiting but not training nurses. "Some people would look at this and say this is rich countries offloading the costs of educating new nurses and health workers. These are other countries who have paid for the education, the investment in those nurses and then, soon after they are educated or when they become more specialist, a higher income country then goes and recruits them, having not had to pay for that education."Some of the recent recruits to rich countries have come from sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria, and parts of the Caribbean, he added. Nurses were often motivated by higher salaries and better terms than at home.This process was also being facilitated by giving nurses preferred immigration status, according to the ICN."The legacy of COVID I believe is highly likely to be a global health workforce crisis. And like with the pandemic, we can't address that one country on our own, we need a coordinated, collaborative, concerted global effort which is underpinned by serious investment, not just the warm words, the platitudes, and the applause."