Exodus of medics: One doctor left Romania to work abroad every four hours in 2020

Foto: Inquam Photos / Alex Nicodim

Some 2,200 doctors left Romania to work abroad last year. That’s about six every day or almost one every four hours, new data reveals.

The health ministry said in 2020, a total of 2,173 Romanian doctors requested certificates attesting they are qualified to work as a doctor, HotNews.ro reported

That’s an average of 5.95 medics a day.

The certificate means they can work as medics in other countries without needing additional qualifications.

The figures are similar to those in 2018, Hotnews reported. However, fewer doctors are leaving than in 2019 when 8.2 doctors left a day_ one every three hours.

The exodus comes even after medics’ salaries were substantially hiked in March 2017.

Medics and nurses say they choose to move abroad for work due to a lack of investment in the aging healthcare system. Political cronyism and corruption in the healthcare system are other reasons.

Romania lost half its doctors between 2009 and 2015.

Romania spent about 5.6 percent of its GDP on health in 2018, the second lowest in the European Union. In absolute terms, it spends the least in the bloc, just 580 euros per person in 2018, according to Eurostat.

Romania currently has 63, 000 medics. The National Statistics Institute said.

So where are the medics leaving from:

Bucharest:  1.098 medics asked the ministry for certificates in 2019 and 2020.

Timis county in southwest Romania: 775 medics requested certificates in 2019-2020.

Iasi county in the northeast:  751 medics in 2019 and 2020.

UPDATE. Romania ruling coalition in disarray after firing of health minister

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