Serbia: Over 75 pct of doctors consider emigration

Serbia: Over 75 pct of doctors consider emigration

More than 75 percent of health care professionals in Serbia are thinking about leaving the country, according to the results of a research on health workforce migration, which could destabilize the country’s health care system.

Presenting the findings of the research “Migration of Health Care Workers from the Western Balkans: Analyzing Causes, Consequences and Policies”, the researchers said that the economic motives had a significant influence on migration.

“The results of the research have shown that more than 75 percent of doctors have considered leaving the country either at some point in their lives or recently. The percentage is even higher (81 percent) among respondents under 35 years of age,” said Dr Maja Krstic, a research associate from Serbia.

She pointed to difficult economic situation and low income, poor working conditions, low employment options and lack of prospects as the main reasons why health care professionals would choose to emigrate.

The Serbian Medical Chamber has issued around 2,000 “certificates of good standing” to medical doctors since 2012, and the number keeps rising, Krstic said, adding that no data were available on the possible country of destination or the length of stay.

At the end of 2014, 2,644 doctors in Serbia were unemployed.

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