The emigration of Greek doctors abroad continues for the sixth consecutive year, despite the fact that public hospitals show alarming shortages.
The majority of doctors who leave Greece for work prefer Europe. Most of them choose the United Kingdom, but this year the number of applications for the country has dropped significantly because of the Brexit.
From the beginning of the year until the last week of October, the Athens Medical Association (ISA) had issued 487 certificates to doctors who wanted to move to the UK, about 300 fewer than those issued for the same country in 2015.
Overall, from January 1, 2016 until October 24, ISA issued 1,018 licenses for doctors seeking work in another country. Throughout 2015, ISA issued 1,521 certificates for foreign countries. In 2014 there were 1,380 certificates and 1,488 in 2013. In 2012 the number of certificates was the highest ever for ISA, amounting to 1,808.
Since the onset of the economic crisis in 2010, the Athens Medical Association has issued a total of 9,330 certificates to doctors fleeing Greece. Since about half of the country’s doctors are members of ISA, it is estimated that about 18,000 doctors have left Greece since 2010, due to the crisis.
The majority of licenses to work abroad issued this year by ISA (719) were for doctors who had already received their specialty title in Greece but were unable to find work in the National Health System. The top countries in the preferences of physicians who requested certificates to work abroad in 2016 are the United Kingdom (487), Germany (102), Cyprus (77) and France (75), followed by Switzerland and Sweden (58 and 44 respectively).
In recent years, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have become destinations of choice for Greek doctors. From early 2016 until the end October, ISA has issued 44 certificates to members who want to work in these countries.
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