"The emigration of doctors kills people in Africa."
Hardly. Allowing or encouraging doctors to leave Africa for rich destination countries can reduce the number of doctors within the countries they come from, although even this is not clear if more people undertake medical training with the hope of migrating. However, the level of medical care provided by doctors in Africa depends on a vast array of factors that have little or nothing to do with international movement -- such as scant wages in the public health service, poor or absent rural service incentives, few other performance incentives of any kind, a lack of adequate medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, a mismatch between medical training and the health problems of the poorest, weak transportation infrastructure, or abysmal sanitation systems.
To illustrate just one of these -- the lack of rural service incentives -- policies that limit international movement choices per se do not change the strong incentive for African physicians to concentrate in urban areas far from the least?served populations. Nairobi is home to just 8 percent of Kenya's population, but 66 percent of its physicians. More Mozambican physicians live in the capital Maputo (51 percent) than in the entire rest of Mozambique, though Maputo comprises just 8 percent of the national population. Roughly half of Ethiopian physicians work in the capital Addis Ababa, where only one in 20 Ethiopians lives.
This and the many other barriers to domestic effectiveness of physicians may explain why, across 53 African countries, there is no relationship whatsoever between the departure of physicians or nurses and poor health statistics as measured by indicators such as child mortality or the percentage of births attended by modern health professionals. If anything, the relationship is positive: African countries with the largest number of their physicians residing abroad in the rich country are typically those with the lowest child mortality, and vice versa. This suggests that whatever is determining whether or not African children live or die, other factors besides international migration of physicians are vastly more important. Fiddling with immigration or recruitment policies of destination countries do precisely nothing to address those underlying problems.