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PostSubject: Medical exodus hits Bulgaria   Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:30 pm

[size=55:2m18yhgi]Budapest Times 15 September 2010

Medical exodus hits Bulgaria

Poor working conditions, &
low wages blamed

Doctors and nurses are abandoning their jobs in Bulgaria to seek better-paid work abroad, Balkan Insight reported last Wednesday. Some 350 doctors had asked for a certificate to practise abroad by the end of August in contrast to a total of 440 last year. Last year’s total number of medics fleeing for better conditions was itself 80 higher than the previous year’s, the Bulgarian Medical Association said.
Dr Dimitar Lenkov from the association said he thought up to 600 medics could leave the country this year. “For the last three years the number of doctors who are going to work abroad has been gradually increasing,” he said. In the same period the number of anaesthetists working in Bulgaria, one of the EU’s poorest member states, fell from 1,500 to just 800, possibly leading to cancelled operations. Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.
The exodus is not confined to doctors. Lenkov said the number of nurses had dropped by 50 per cent in the past two decades. Stanka Markova, chairman of the local Association of Health Professionals in Nursing, said around 1,000 were leaving the country every year.
The exodus is blamed on poor working conditions and the lure of jobs in Western Europe. “All the governments have been neglecting this problem for years,” Lenkov said.

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