Faced with a lack of health professionals, France is looking abroad for doctors. Yet, the new recruits have a hard time with integration and are demonstrating against what they say are unfair salary levels. (Report: G.Desqueyroux-Quidu)
In the 1980s,
At the time, the French government was seemingly unaware of the problems derived from a growing and ageing population. The number of elderly people over 85 is expected to double between now and 2020.
To make matters worse, soon many doctors from the baby-boom generation will be retiring. Currently, the average age for a surgeon is 51.
15,000 foreign doctors
Today, there are about 15,000 foreign-educated doctors in
These doctors work exclusively in hospitals and they do not have the right to work in the private sector.
In theory, they can only work under the supervision of a department head. But, in reality, many carry the same weight.
Stature based on place of origin
Dr. Joseph Bakar, from
The situation of Dr. Sylviu Bouzatou, a Romanian anesthesiologist who has never worked in
Varying wages, difficulties integrating
The French government trusts Dr. Bakar with the lives of his patients but only pays him 2,400 euros a month, which is half of what his French and European counterparts make. Additionally, he gets paid 70 euros an hour for overtime, compared to the 200 euros an hour for his French and European colleagues.
The HALDE (High Authority against Discrimination) believes the situation is unjust and discriminatory.
It shouldn’t matter whether the doctors are European or not, the crucial element is language. Without French, it is difficult to give a diagnosis. Sylviu Bouzatou must improve his French. He was recruited via a special program within the
After taking an intensive French course for 15 days, the Romanian doctor starts at the hospital, but it is not going to be easy. In addition to the language barrier, he knows little about his new workplace. But he has been recruited and they want him to stay.
Drama for the countries of origin
Without these foreign doctors, the French health system would be bankrupt. But for every foreign doctor that arrives in
The countries of origin suffer as a result of the emigration of their health professionals. In
Date created : 2008-06-17