A total of 67,685 work permits have been given to African medical staff since 2000, according to immigration minister Phil Woolas.
Doctors and nurses from South Africa received 21,970 permits, 17,845 went to Zimbabweans, while Nigerians accounted for 9,740.
Another 4,475 were given to Ghanaians, medical staff from Mauritius got 2,655 and in Zambians received 2,575.
However, the figure does not necessarily represent the total number of people given permits, because some were for staff who moved jobs and others were extensions, said Mr Woolas.
He added: "Not all those who were granted a permit took up the job and some may have been refused entry clearance or further leave to remain."
The figures were revealed through a written parliamentary answer to Labour's Hilary Armstrong.
Research by the Center for Global Development in the US last year discovered many countries in Africa had more medical staff working overseas than at home.
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Center for Global Development