Greece may have finally exited its harsh eight-year bailout this summer, but challenges remain, such as halting the brain drain, including doctors, according to Giorgos Patoulis, president of the Athens Medical Association.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Patoulis said that the investment in medical health tourism could significantly contribute toward the backflow of doctors who left the country during the past years.
Citing some alarming figures, Patoulis called for immediate steps to reverse the exodus.
More than 18,000 doctors, newly qualified graduates as well as experienced specialists were among those who emigrated during the crisis, he said.
The overwhelming majority (12,629) were members of the Athens Medical Association, which now has a total of 24,815 members.
This year so far 281 doctors, mainly experienced specialists, have left Greece seeking better wages and work stability abroad.
In order to convince medics to return to Greece, the Athens Medical Association suggests that the country focuses on the growing global markets of health and wellness tourism, which, according to estimates, generate $40 billion and $100 billion per year respectively, Patoulis noted.