Health professionals mobility within the EU: the case of Hungary

12/10/2017 News Europe , Press 1567 Views
Health professionals mobility within the EU: the case of Hungary

Free movement of persons is a basic principle of the EU, and health professionals’ mobility was expected to increase after the accession of Hungary to the EU in 2004. Capturing health professionals’ mobility, however, is challenging. On the basis of international professional debates, the outflow indicator most frequently used for measurement is the number of requested good-standing certifications, which is required when a health professional wants to work abroad. Requesting this certificate indicates only an intention to work abroad, and does not necessarily mean that the person will in fact leave the country. Despite this methodological limitation, the indicator is considered to be a good- enough proxy to monitor migration trends.

Since 2004, the outflow of medical doctors from Hungary showed a significant increase and peaked in 2011. In 2012 still more than 1100 persons requested the certificate, which decreased to 823 in 2016. It is also important to note that this number includes those foreign medical graduates, who obtained their diploma in Hungary and intend to return home, and also not corrects for repeated certificate requests. Excluding the cases of freshly graduated foreign medical doctors and repeated requests, the figures still show a decrease from 831 in 2011 to 398 in 2016. Nevertheless, no data are available on the duration and/or parallel jobs in foreign countries.

Previous research emphasized the financial opportunities as the most important key driver and motivation factor of Hungarian medical doctors to work abroad (Eke et al, 2011). Health policy recognized this and intervened into the system with various financial measures, including scholarship programs for medical residents (graduated medical doctors, who are in a professional training program and work to obtain a medical specialisation) and salary increases (for more details see also log from 30/12/2016).

It seems that these programmes had a measurable impact on the outflow of medical doctors, but latest figures are still high. In 2015, 492 doctors requested the good-standing certificate out of which 329 apparently do not work at home (estimated by inactivities in the Hungarian health system as not filling a prescription), which still constituted around 40{cabf78295431282ca1bec49ffbe2c87b89a1285ae102b2d0687184fc21af24ba} of the new Hungarian medical graduates in that year. Further monitoring and interventions are needed to mitigate the influence of the continuous outflow and the shortages of certain specialties in the Hungarian health system.



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