Germany Drains Bosnia of Doctors and Nurses
Hard-working Selma Dzafic breezed through her studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Tuzla, northern Bosnia.
While she won top marks, securing her first job as a doctor in Bosnia and Herzegovina proved tougher than passing exams.
‘’It was impossible to find a job without connections or paying someone,’’ Dzafic told BIRN.
Exasperated, she looked to Germany for her first post and, two years on, is a well-established doctor in Saarbrucken’s main hospital.
Dzafic’s tale is far from unusual. She is part of an exodus of skilled workers from Bosnia, including doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants, all leaving for the better pay and better working conditions in Germany.
She estimates that half of her cohort from medical school are now working abroad, an assessment which is given added weight by statistics obtained by BIRN under Freedom of Information rules.
More than 10,000 nurses, doctors and carers from Bosnia have followed her path, according to figures obtained from Germany’s Federal Employment Agency.
And, although Germany has sought to tighten migration from the Balkans in recent years, new measures introduced in 2013 have actually made it easier for skilled healthcare workers to head for Germany, increasing the pace of departures.