Half of Romania’s doctors left the country between 2009 and 2015
Of the 231,000 employees currently working in the Romanian healthcare sector, 14,000 are doctors. This is the same number as that of doctors who left to work abroad between 2009 and 2015, according to Viorel Husanu, the president of the national healthcare union Sanitas, quoted by Agerpres. At the same time, 28,000 nurses left Romania to work abroad during the same period.
Still, the number of doctors leaving Romania has dropped starting with 2015, as there were more incentives for them to stay and fewer attractive jobs available outside of Romania, Husanu said. “Starting with 2015 we have noticed that this exodus has started to decrease. Very few doctors and nurses have left since 2015,” he said, in an interview with Agerpres.
Romania’s healthcare system also has at present an auxiliary staff of 23,000, and almost 200,000 nurses and other specialized staff, including biologists, bio-chemists, pharmacists, orderlies, and others. “I don’t know how many doctors are working in the private sector. It is difficult to count them because the same doctors are working in the public system and very few exclusively in the private one,” Husanu said.
Referring to the doctors who left to work outside of the country, Husanu said many ended up working in other fields. “What is worse is that many ended up working other jobs. There are doctors who are maybe working now as waiters, caretakers, maybe in other fields as well. Meanwhile the Romanian state spends a fortune on training a doctor. The best ones get poached and used very well in the foreign healthcare systems, but the average ones or those who couldn’t find jobs work in other fields as well,” Husanu explained.
Husanu counted salary levels and excessive involvement from the political side among the toughest problems of the local healthcare sector.
“Up until 2015 there were multiple problems, related to the salary levels, but now I want to go into the main problem: the excessive involvement of the political into the system. There are cases where even the head of a section or the head nurse are appointed based on political criteria. Just as the government, the minister or the political structure change in Romania, so do they, and this is how they have been replaced in the past. Starting with 2015 the salary system stabilized a bit, and so did these political replacements. […] This would be the main problem of the system, the excessive involvement of the political. Then, underfinancing,” Husanu explained.