“Less than one half” of the number of anaesthesiologists
The President of the College of Physicians, Vasile Astărăstoae, estimates that over ten thousand physicians have chosen to work abroad since our country acceded to the European Union.
Articol de Adriana Turea, 21 Februarie 2012, 08:45
The lack of physicians specialising in emergency medicine, diabetes or surgery does not constitute a special case in Romania.
Specialists admit that the system is well understaffed in all medical specialties.
And, as if this were not enough, many physicians are looking for work abroad.
The fact that Romanian physicians are leaving for countries where this job is much better paid seems to be one of the major causes for the shortcomings of the medical system.
The medical specialties presenting the highest deficit of physicians due to emigration are: anaesthesia-intensive care, emergency medicine and cardiology.
The Romanian anaesthesia and intensive care departments are working with forty percent of the minimum necessary number of physicians, but the president of the Romanian College of Physicians states that most specialties are functioning under the minimum required norm.
“Interdepartmental policies are required, so that, on the one hand, physicians have at their disposal all the necessary means to practice their profession without having to improvise, and, on the other hand, the incomes must be adequate to their social responsibility. Last, but not least, the attitude toward the medical staff must change, because nowhere in Europe are physicians blamed and marginalised as they are in Romania”, professor doctor Vasile Astărăstoae states.
Solutions for the dramatic lack of physicians
State Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, Raed Arafat, states that attempts are being made to legally solve the medical staff deficit in the field of emergency medicine.
“It is well known that we are understaffed, even if the number of staff members in the emergency unit for incoming patients has increased in the last four years. But although the deficit of Romanian physicians has decreased, it is still at 42 percent, and each personnel category is different. Attempts are being made in the form of a government decision draft. After it is approved, at least in some areas we will be able to hire additional staff and fill in the vacant positions, which will definitely solve part of the problem”, Raed Arafat declared.
The president of the Romanian College of Physicians estimates that over ten thousand physicians have chosen to work abroad since our country acceded to the European Union in 2007.
Within the same time interval, Romania has produced only eight thousand specialised physicians.
“Judging by the current number of graduates produced by the Romanian medical education system and if the migration process stopped, in approximately 10 to 15 years we would reach an average of 3.5 physicians per thousand people, which is the European Union standard. At the moment, we only have 1.9 physicians per thousand people” professor doctor Vasile Astărăstoae explains.
Our only solution for the moment is to prevent the outbreak of disease, and when this is not possible, we can only hope that we will find the appropriate medical specialist and that he or she will not be overworked.
Translated by: Cristina Baciu, MA Student, MTTLC, Bucharest University