Romanian health system lost 10,000 doctors to higher salaries abroad

Romania has lost around 10,000 doctors in the last five years, as better pay has tempted medical professionals to emigrate , according to Vasile Astarastoae, president of the Doctors’ College in Romania. Only 7,000 doctors graduated from the local education system during this period. Romania has a total of 56,000 doctors, out of which 13,000 are residents, 2,000 are retired but still in the College’s records, and the rest are free practitioners.

The country’s healthcare system has been under spotlight in recent years, when it has become clear that more and more young doctors are choosing to work abroad, for a higher salary. A resident’s monthly salary in Romania is of around RON 800 (the equivalent of some EUR 185), while in Western Europe, doctors can earn at least ten times as much. The healthcare system in Romania is likely to change following planned healthcare reforms. The Health Ministry is currently working on creating the new legislative framework for the system.

The state-funded healthcare network has been facing increasing competition from private operators, which extended networks of clinics, general hospitals and specialty hospitals. Read about the private clinics and hospitals opened last year in our analysis here.

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