Emigration leading to shortage of doctors and other healthcare workers in Moldova
Published by vedomosti.md
More than 1,700 health workers request certification of their educational qualifications in order to leave Moldova
Over the last four years, more than 1,700 medical workers have applied for the certification of their educational documents for travelling abroad.
Nine years ago, the number of applications from doctors was much higher. Now, more and more paramedics want to leave the healthcare system of the Republic of Moldova, writes sanatate.info. This is a huge figure for our country, which is already experiencing acute shortages of medical workers. The system lacks specialists in family medicine, anaesthesiology, intensive care, radiology and emergency treatment.
According to Ministry of Health figures, the most requests for permission to leave the healthcare system were made in 2019 – 600, of which 455 came from doctors and 145 from paramedics.
During the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, there were fewer requests, 363 and 312 respectively. In 2021, the number of applications submitted by paramedics exceeded those of doctors for the first time, with 163 made by paramedics and 149 by doctors.
Last year after the pandemic ceased to be a public health emergency and all sectors of the economy were starting to recover, the number of health workers wanting to leave the system went up again, with 449 health workers, 216 physicians and 230 paramedics applying to the Ministry of Health for certification of their educational qualifications for employment outside Moldova.
These figures are alarming, particularly in the context of chronic staff shortages in the health care sector. According to statistical data, 12,600 doctors and 23,687 medical workers with secondary education worked in the health sector in 2022. Of these, more than 20% of physicians and 14% of healthcare staff with secondary education are of retirement age.
The number of health workers is crucial, especially in the regions. For example, there is a total lack of cardiologists in Anenii Noi, Briceni, Nisporeni, Ungheni, Basarabeasca, Cantemir, Causeni, Cimislia, Leova, Taraclia and Vulcanesti. There is also a shortage of neonatologists in Briceni, Riscani, Falesti, Calarasi, Leova, Taraclia, Anenii Noi, Glodeni, Soldanesti, Telenesti, Ungheni, Cahul, Cantemir and Ocnita.
There is also a dearth in the number of oncologists for residents of Briceni, Drochia, Ocnita, Soroca, Calarasi, Criuleni, Nisporeni, Orhei, Soldanesti, Telenesti, Basarabeasca, Cantemir and Taraclia.
According to the Ministry of Health, the greatest shortage of specialists can be found in the following areas: Family medicine (216), anaesthesiology and intensive care (200), radiology and medical imaging (73), internal diseases (54) and emergency care (53).
It should also be noted that the Ministry of Health has prepared a draft decision that provides for a 15% pay increase in the salaries of medical workers from 1 October. Even with this increase, doctors’ salaries will remain too low and unattractive for medical workers. For example, a family doctor with up to ten years’ experience will earn around 767 Euros a month after the increase. A psychiatrist with the same experience will receive less than 760 Euros and an anaesthesiologist who has more than 20 years’ experience will receive 870 Euros.