Albania Tries To Halt Flight Of Young Doctors
Muhammad Irfan Published November 01, 2023 | 12:00 PM
Tirana, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 1st Nov, 2023) Seeking to stem the flight of its young doctors, Albania has brought in a law to make recent medical graduates work in their home country for up to five years, or until they pay back their tuition fees.
They label the legislation "unconstitutional" and argue it violates basic human rights principles on freedom of movement. They also say it deprives them of the opportunity to develop their training abroad.
The students have taken their case to the Constitutional Court and its ruling is expected in the coming weeks.
"The new law violates students' right to freely choose where they want to work," fifth-year student Reant Kullaj told AFP.
He believes the training system should be improved, with final years students integrated into the public health sector.
Other medical professions are facing similar challenges -- at least 16,000 nurses and care workers have left Albania in the last four years, according to the National Nurses' association.
This year the number of young people enrolling to nursing studies has increased again, said Gevio Tabaku, who runs UAlbania, a portal with university enrolment data.
It shows these students want to use the diploma as a passport, he said.
Not everyone shares the medical students' views.
"We pay for them, we prepare them -- and Germany takes them," he said.
Specialised agencies advertise better opportunities abroad, deepening the dilemma.
"Assured work and contract in Germany's largest hospitals, possibility to choose the city and place of work in 2,000 towns throughout Germany. Wage from 2,800 to 3,900 Euros ($3,000 to $4,150) monthly", one promises.
"Career opportunities by all European standards", says another.
In a country where the average salary of a young graduate in the public sector is 1,000 euros a month, such offers are enticing.
But students say that more than salary, better working conditions are key for them to stay in Albania.
The so-called "Chancenkarte", for people with potential rather than permanent employment contracts, could decide to work abroad even more tempting.