Greek doctors, nurses leaving in droves for jobs abroad

TAGS: Health

An increasing number of Greek doctors, especially those in highly specialized fields, have been leaving for jobs abroad, according to the Athens Medical Association (ISA), which warns of major staffing shortages in the years to come.

ISA figures show that from 2010 and to the present, more than 7,500 doctors have emigrated from Greece, when the average up until 2009 was at around 550 per year. In the first six months of this year alone, it issued 790 certificates of competence (one of the papers needed for medical staff to work abroad).

“One of the biggest losses in the crisis has been that of great minds,” ISA chief Giorgos Patoulis told Kathimerini. “In a short time the national healthcare system will have an aged personnel and will be unable to staff services.”

Qualified nurses – around 8,000 of whom are unemployed – are also having trouble finding work, with the Greek Nurses’ Union saying that it issued 74 certificates in 2010, 357 in 2012 and 349 last year.