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The Migration Of Health Care Skills In The Context Of The Enlargement Of The Economic European Area - The Case Of The Romanian Doctors -


  • Despina VASILCU

    () (Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania)


The international migration of the Romanian health professionals is part of the general dynamics of the migratory phenomenon that occurred in Romania, after 1989, inducing a new form of labour globalisation. The interrelations between the migration and the economic development illustrate complex changes: institutional and political ones, demographic and social mutations, territorial and cultural reconstructions, disruptions in the sanitary field. The interest taken in the study of the migration occurring in the health field resides in the unprecedented increase in this type of migration, as a result of the acknowledgement of the medical degrees obtained in Romania. The Romanian doctors are attracted especially by the developed countries that do not pose particular language problems to them. For several years now, a doctor shortage has been confronting France, the destination preferred by the vast majority of the emigrants, especially in the rural environment. The « medical desertification » phenomenon, as it is called by the press, concerns certain small towns, especially in the urban peripheries. At the beginning of 2009, the doctors of Romanian nationality ranked second among the doctors of foreign nationality who practised their profession in France. The increased mobility of the specialists is accompanied by the feminization of the migratory flows. The current female migrants enjoy a privileged status in comparison to the way things were in the pioneer migrants’ stage, when women were generally dependant migrants and did not work. This is why we may now speak about a redistribution of the roles within the family, which shows the role of female migration initiators. The international migration of the health professionals constitutes the answer to the specific problems faced, on the one hand, by certain E.U. countries, and on the other hand, by Romania. At present, the Romanian healthcare system crisis has been worsened by the fact that the economic problems are accompanied by the shortage of skilled personnel. The latter refers to the doctors’ having left the emigration gate open for their colleagues who have remained in Romania, thus generating new migratory flows. The doctors’ reasons for leaving are manifold. The decision to emigrate is mainly based on financial reasons, but there are also other grounds. Among these, we can mention: medical practice insecurity, unfit working conditions, obsolete technology, a limited professional career span in the country of origin, and, in the case of the female family migrants, the wish for their family to have access to a different living standard. The right to free circulation and the already existent pay differential of the health personnel will deepen the gap between Western and Eastern Europe, while the negative effects of the health agents’ emigration will become more and more severe in the long run. The current stakes of the migration of this professional category encompass several sectors. The challenges to be taken up require a better understanding of this phenomenon and its being taken into consideration by the politicians, both in the countries of origin and of destination.

Suggested Citation

  • Despina VASILCU, 2010. "The Migration Of Health Care Skills In The Context Of The Enlargement Of The Economic European Area - The Case Of The Romanian Doctors -," The Annals of the "Stefan cel Mare" University of Suceava. Fascicle of The Faculty of Economics and Public Administration, "Stefan cel Mare" University of Suceava, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Public Administration, vol. 10(Special), pages 83-91, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:scm:ausvfe:v:10:y:2010:i:special:p:83-91

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    Cited by:

    1. Domnisoru, Ciprian., 2012. "Decent work policy options for the Romanian economy," ILO Working Papers 994725643402676, International Labour Organization.


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