Medical Chamber calls for improving doctors’ status

Ljubljana – The Medical Chamber has called for efforts to improve the status of doctors, as it warned that their current pay, not comparable to Western European countries in terms of workload, is resulting in brain drain. Young doctors are less and less likely to take up certain medical specialties due to difficult working conditions, it said.

Decreased interest is most evident when it comes to family medicine, but there are also problems in paediatrics, anaesthesiology, nephrology, emergency medicine and infectiology.

According to data from mid-November, 131 out of 310 specialty vacancies are still vacant.

Meanwhile, Slovenia’s neighbouring countries are strategically seeking health workers in the single European labour market, as can be seen from advertisements in Slovenian dailies.

Medical specialists are offered jobs under very competitive working conditions, the chamber said. In recent years, it has issued 150-300 so-called certificates of good repute per year to its members. The certificates are, among other things, a condition for working abroad.

The chamber’s data show that at least 34 doctors chose to work abroad in 2014. The risk of an even greater outflow in the future is already here, the chamber warned, noting more than 100 applications for the certificates in the last few days.

If young doctors had not taken over the busiest workplaces in such large numbers during the epidemic, it believes, there would have been even more departures abroad and even greater problems in healthcare.

Doctors have repeatedly publicly supported the calls to improve healthcare working conditions, the chamber said, adding that the conditions should correspond to the responsibility that doctors take on.

The Digital Doctor 2021 study meanwhile found that Slovenian doctors together with their Croatian colleagues were the most pessimistic among its participants.

Almost 70% of the participants said that workplace problems such as work overload were one of the main reasons for their dissatisfaction.

The Mediately company’s survey involved almost 6,000 doctors and was carried out in eight European countries, Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic.