Rise in doctors heading abroad

About 40 percent of young doctors who graduate in Greece head abroad to specialize, while the number of qualified doctors applying for certificates to practice outside of the country increased by almost 40 percent last year, according to data seen by Sunday?s Kathimerini.

The economic crisis has led to a number of young Greeks seeking their future abroad but it seems that doctors are among those most likely to leave. Just over one in four medical graduates in Greece is jobless and according to the vice president of the National Health Council, Yiannis Datseris, some 1,200 new doctors graduate each year. Of these, about 500 are now heading abroad to finish off their studies. Datseris said the number has been rising over the past few years.

Statistics provided by the Athens Medical Association (ISA) also show a growing tendency for doctors to leave the country. In 2010, ISA was asked to issue 1,044 certificates allowing doctors to practice abroad. Last year, this figure rose to 1,483 and in the first quarter of this year 581 were issued.

?The emigration of young doctors has become the norm,? said Antonis Boultadakis, an anesthetist at Evangelismos Hospital in Athens. ?The only way a doctor can have a salary that corresponds to his work and a normal work schedule is to go abroad.?