Plan to keep National Health System doctors from seeking greener pastures

Plan to keep National Health System doctors from seeking greener pastures

As part of the government’s effort to keep doctors in the struggling National Health System (ESY), they are set to receive a 10% increase in their total salaries from the beginning of next year, on a midterm basis.

The measure is in line with the announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis from the podium of the 86th Thessaloniki International Fair that the special pay scale of ESY doctors will be reformed.

The basic salary increase will be in the range of 5%, the hospital employment allowance will increase by 120 euros and the responsibility allowance by 30%. 

This measure, when paired with the elimination of the special solidarity payment, is expected to enhance doctors’ yearly income by 3,000 to 4,000 euros.

The next phase is to increase flexibility in the employment relationships of doctors who are being given the possibility to conduct private work under specified conditions. Mitsotakis himself admitted that doctors’ salaries are too low, leading them to go abroad.

“We are training them to then go abroad to provide their services to other national health systems. And this is something we need to fix,” he said. 

There are currently about 20,000 doctors working in ESY, of whom 2,500 are auxiliary doctors with contracts extended until December 31, 2022. There are 5,500 vacant posts, according to hospital doctors’ representatives, who also noted however that the actual needs are greater. 

In comments to Kathimerini, the president of the Panhellenic Medical Association, Thanasis Exadaktylos, said that at the moment more than 18,000 Greek doctors are working abroad, the majority of them in EU countries and the UK, where the daily working conditions are better and the salaries are much higher. 

“With the exception of Bulgaria, salaries in the rest of Europe are much more than Greek salaries. For example, in Romania the salary is 2.5 times higher, in Malta three times higher and in Germany about four times higher,” Exadaktylos noted. 

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