Record number of Polish medical doctors plan to work abroad

Grzegorz Michałowski/PAP

A record number of doctors declared plans to work abroad in the first quarter of this year, the Supreme Physicians' Council (NRL) said on Monday.

NRL head, Andrzej Matyja told PAP that close to 200 affidavits enabling foreign employment were issued to doctors in the first three months of the year, more than in any other recorded quarter.

"Never before has the quarterly figure been this high," Matyja said.

Matyja added he was not surprised to see so many physicians willing to work abroad, and blamed this on low pay and a failing healthcare system. He stressed the need for increasing healthcare funding, and predicted a "disaster" if the government did not do this soon.

Matyja also warned that the rising migration of physicians from Poland threatened with heavy staff shortages after the Covid-19 pandemic, which in turn could deprive patients with other illnesses of proper medical care.

According to a 2020 report by the Cracow University of Economics, 9 percent of Poland's physicians plan to emigrate after the pandemic, 6 percent want to leave the medical profession. The respective figures for nursing staff are 3.8 and 6.3 percent.