Young Latvian doctors: main motive for working abroad is higher salaries

The concerns medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate. Only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

The concerns medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate. Only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

The concerns medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate. Only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

The concerns medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate. Only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

The concerns medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate. Only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

The concerns medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate. Only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

The concerns the medics have been bringing up for many years have now been confirmed by the State Audit Office. More than half of doctors and nurses are above the age of 50, and the anticipated generational replacement is occurring at a slow rate for only 65% of new doctors stay in the country after finishing their state-funded studies. Two young doctors from Rīga Stradiņš University admit that the main motivation for leaving is the salary, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 3.

Resident doctor Kārlis Rācenis and resident neurologist Ieva Glāzere are on round the clock duty at the Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital. This is one of the ways for them to earn their residency salary – 820 euros per month.

“The salary maximum is 820 euros on hand, but it doesn't actually happen, that's why the salary is 750-760 euros. We work more of course. And the majority of us work in two, three or four workplaces,” said Kārlis. 

“It's a question of vocation after all, and all life revolves around medicine. Doesn't matter if you are a young or an old doctor – all of us want to give something to medicine.And we are hopeful!” added Ieva.

Kārlis and Ieva are lucky – they have place on the residency. During the recent audit, which was covered by LSM in yesterday's article, the State Audit Office discovered a paradox – graduates of state-funded basic health care courses are faced with a limited number of residency places. 

“I've been in the medicine for 10 years. When we started studying, we were told – don't worry, when you graduate, you will have a decent salary,” Kārlis remembers.

“What they don't take into account is that resident doctors are people aged 20 to 35 who have families, children, who need to support them. And it's difficult to do with the salaries you have in Latvia. Especially, if both are doctors,” said Ieva.

“Emolument is the main factor that stimulates you to go away, because after studying for six years, and finishing the residency, you just want to have a normal life. Not to have 300 hours of work,” admits Kārlis.

“What is a huge plus in Latvia is that a young doctor can move forward and achieve more than he could abroad both professionally and academically,” Ieva mentioned. 

Only 65% new specialists decide to remain in Latvia after graduation. 

“The number of new professionals entering the industry is lower than the number of doctors who continue working after turning 65. We provide services only because ethey continue to work,” noted Inga Vārava, the spokeswoman for the State Audit Office.

The Minister of Health Ilze Viņķele (Development/For), in an interview with Latvian Television on July 3, that the shortage of medical personnel “is not strictly a problem in Latvia, it's a problem in all of Europe”.

The Minister stressed that, as the whole population ages, so the doctors will have to work longer into their lives.

The State Audit Office has given 19 recommendations to the Ministry of Health, which the latter should implement in the course of the next three years. One of the recommendations is to make further education more real than formal, and allow resident doctors to enter the labor market sooner. 

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