A general practitioner (GP) in Arad, a city in Western Romania, plans to give up his practice after 31 years and apply for a job as stretcher-bearer at the emergency hospital in the city. He says he has made this decision due to financial reasons as he has learned he would earn double as a stretcher-bearer than as a GP, according to local News.ro.
Adrian Darabantiu, who is also the president of the General Practice Society in Arad, told News.ro that net salaries for stretcher-bearers at the emergency hospital can reach up to RON 4,000 (EUR 860) per month while he only makes RON 2,000 (EUR 430) per month, although he runs a general practice cabinet with about 2,500 registered patients.
He added that working as stretcher-bearer at the hospital isn’t nearly as stressful as running his own cabinet, where he has to face the bureaucracy in the system. However, he hopes his application won’t be rejected due to over qualification.
Darabantiu also said that his gesture was also a form of protest against the inequities in the public healthcare system, where there is a huge gap between employees in hospitals and the rest. He said many of the nurses in general practice cabinets left to work in hospitals, where salaries are over four times higher.
The government led by prime minister Viorica Dancila significantly increased the salaries of doctors and medical personnel in the public hospitals in April, aiming to stop the migration of doctors and nurses to other countries in the European Union where salaries were much better. However, the employees in public hospitals only represent a third of the personnel working in the healthcare system and GPs complain that they have been neglected by the authorities.
“The colossal differences between the revenues of some healthcare personnel (especially those who work in hospitals) and others will blow up in our face,” said former health minister Vlad Voiculescu, a co-founder of the Romania Together Movement (Romania Impreuna – RO+) led by former PM Dacian Ciolos.