Posts Tagged ‘doctors for germany’

The German experience of a young Romanian Surgeon

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Once Romania entered the European Union in 2007, significant advantages for the highly skilled and educated were created with the liberalization of the labor-market.

Gabriel B. lives in Germany since 2007, and is currently in the 5th residency year as a General Surgeon. After graduating medicine in 2007, Gabriel moved to Nordrhein-Westfalen in a city with about 25 000 inhabitants in order to start his medical career.

The hospital in which Gabriel is currently working, benefits of 150 beds for inpatient care and 59 beds for the surgical department. Offering high quality diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with comprehensive and modern medical equipment, combining high tech medical care with humanity and personal attention is a high priority of the hospital. The hospital benefits from:

  • CT scanner
  • Ultrasound devices
  • High quality video and X-ray systems
  • Zeus and Cicero devices

“Starting off in a smaller city and a smaller hospital is ideal for foreign doctors. Accommodation with the system and integration in the medical team is the key factor and one of the hospitals focal points when it comes to foreign doctors. Colleagues are patient and helpful, soon I felt like part of the team”, stated Gabriel.

“Social integration is also not an issue. Living in a smaller city, and working with people for people, especially in the respected field of medicine grants you rapid recognition. People greet me on the street, so we get to know each other resulting to mutual respect and of course friendship.

But, of course social integration does not only mean receiving recognition, it also means sharing interests. For example Germans value their gardens, spending a decent amount of their time gardening and making their front and back gardens esthetic. Of course they also love their home, their cars, their sports and to travel,” added Gabriel.

“The home environment is another plus. I enjoy getting to live in a two story house with a beautiful front and back garden in a nice and peaceful neighborhood. I don’t live by myself in the whole house, I have upstairs neighbors but its ok we don’t bother one another, the house has different entrances so we don’t have to bump into one another unless we want to”, stated Gabriel.

A common misconception is created when it comes to thinking about smaller cities. People think that smaller cities bring no opportunities for leisure and entertainment, schools and employment for the rest of the family.

“I can honestly say that in a radius of 20km you can find everything! Pharmacies, schools, kindergartens, cinemas, theaters, malls, stores like H&M or Zara, restaurants ranging from Chinese, Italian and Turkish to restaurants with traditional German food, and of course McDonalds and Burger King.

Sports and other outdoors leisure activities are also easily accessible. Tennis courts, football fields, swimming-pools and indoor swimming pools are close by. Spas and Gyms are easily accessible. Besides all the above, Nordic walks, hiking and biking are sought after activities here in Germany”, stated Gabriel.

Getting from A to B

“One of the most important things about Germany is its infrastructure. Airports, highways, freeways, bike lanes, public transport… they all seem to eat up the distance between different cities, counties and even different countries. No wonder the Germans love to travel!” stated Gabriel.

“I can honestly say I’m proud to make part of the community in the city I live and work in”, Gabriel B.

Celebrating our candidates success stories

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

“A thing of great importance to us is learning from your experience, learning from your success, thus perfecting ourselves in the future”

In life, one should always find time to celebrate success and give credit to the success of others. Every year we like to dedicate an evening to all of our successful candidates that are happily living and working in Germany, and that have remained thankful for all of our hard work and time that we invested in helping them reach their goal: Starting a better life in Germany.

For the celebrations of 2012, the location for the meeting played a key role creating the perfect atmosphere. The city of Weilburg has an historical significance that spread out for over a millennia, giving tourists and visitors the ability to experience to travel back in time and wander through its old squares, castle gardens and narrow medieval streets, and of course – Castle Weilburg.

Dining in the shadow of Weilburg Castle:

As ripped out of a fairytale, a medieval setting, bright lighted hall with tasteful decorations, red velvet seats and big round dining tables and of course, music in the background.

As the guests started arriving, cheerful greets and laughter started to fill the room, transforming the formal setting into a more family-like environment. Every guest is greeted with a glass of champagne, an honest thank you for joining our event and a smile that illustrates the true satisfaction of seeing former candidates so well and truly happy with their new found life in Germany.

“Tonight cultural and ethnic backgrounds do not matter, we are all Europeans!” 

It was so nice to see the fact that cultural backgrounds didn’t matter. Doctors in Germany are doctors in Germany, and they loved to share their experience with one another and exchange experiences about medical and non-medical related topics.

Once everybody got acquainted with each other and the champagne glasses where empty, a short toast was held:

“It is my great pleasure to see you all here at our yearly event. I am so happy to see that you are all well and that you and your families have adapted to the German way of life so well over the years. A thing of great importance to us is learning from your experience, learning from your success, thus perfecting ourselves and our services in the future. But first, let’s honor the mission of our cooks that prepared tonight’s meal for us. Thank you again for coming! Bon Appetite!”

The food was great, the service was impeccable, and the atmosphere was of joy and laughter. As soon as the deserts were finished it was time to honor our own mission and learn about our doctor’s success.

Everybody was keen to share their own personal experiences with us, experiences involving everything from the profession and workplace to the personal life and comparisons between living in Germany and life back home.

First of all, I have to underline the fact that no one was thinking of leaving Germany in the future and going back home, thus denoting a change for the better.

“Integration at the workplace and in society is relatively easy achieved. At the workplace, the multicultural aspects play a key role, German doctors and patients are used to having foreign doctors and foreign colleagues, as long as you can speak German and as long as you prove yourself as a professional people will treat you with respect.” 

“Integration in the German society is also helped by the facts that in Germany doctors are respected, especially in smaller cities where people get to know you. Of course the financial aspect helps the integration process as well. It’s nice to know that you can afford to go out and eat at a restaurant whenever you want, or go to the cinema or the theater.”

“Back home if we wanted to plan a vacation, we had to start putting money aside for months in a row just to be able to afford it; here you can have a decent vacation with the whole family out of just one paycheck.”

“The way of life is far more relaxed and far more comfortable than it was back home. Actually the whole quality of life is much better here, from the professional to the private aspects of life, it is a dream come true to be able to use high tech equipment in the hospital with no restrictions, to be able to prescribe any medications because they are all available in the hospital and to be able to go relaxed home knowing that you can easily pay your bills have fun, go to the restaurant, to the theater, to the cinema, or to go on vacation and still be able to put money aside in your bank account.”

“Starting off in a smaller hospital in a smaller city was the best decision I could have ever taken. As a foreigner having to adapt to so many aspects and break so many barriers at the beginning having a peaceful and calm home and work environment was all I needed. It is hard at first to get used to the system and the culture and the country… having great colleagues that were eager to help me adapt made my life a whole lot easier.”

“Another great thing is the learning experience here as a doctor. Hospitals put a huge accent on learning and training. The residency here as opposed to back home is not only a theoretical learning curve, everybody gets the chance to practice what they learn thus making us responsible doctors.”

As a plus, Dr. Cristian Baluta, resident doctor for Neurology, offerd us the chance to take a short interview with him, interview in which he describes his own experience as a young foreign doctor in Germany. You can access the interview here:

Besides sharing personal and professional experiences with us, it was nice to see that over the years we managed to create a tightly knit community of doctors with foreign backgrounds that thanks to our annual meetings have gotten to know each other and become friends.

We can only conclude that our annual doctor meeting of 2012 was a success. It was a pleasure for us to help you find a position in Germany and now, it is an honor for us to get to learn from your personal success and experience! Thank you!

“From our first contact with EGV Recruiting, we knew that we were dealing with a serious firm. We will forever be thankful to the people that helped us start a better life here in Germany”

German hospitals interested in Czech doctors

Friday, November 16th, 2012

German hospitals atract more and more czech doctors offering them hundreds of positions. The salary of doctor in Germany is 4 times higher that in the Czech Republic, but this is not the sole reason that makes Germany so attractive, equippment and professional growth opportunities also tip the ballance in Germany’s favor.

A young doctor in Germany earns about 3800 Euro’s /month while in the Czech republic the starting salary for a young doctor is 1000 Euros.

Last year, 172 med school graduates applyed for work abroad. After the first half of this year almost 100 doctors applied, having Germany the main destination point.


Source of the article: Slovenský rozhlas (12.11.2012 ,posted by Boris Kršňák, Prague)

Choosing a German State

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Recently, we held a short survey designed to better understand our candidates’ wishes and desires when it comes to moving abroad and starting a career as a foreign doctor in a foreign land.
The survey was relatively simple with just two separate questions.

  1. In which country would you rather see yourself working as a doctor?
  2. In which German state would you like to live and work as a doctor?

Although some candidates prefer different countries or areas, some not even in Europe most of them seem to be interested in Germany.

Although Germany is the most sought after destination, it has its own “hot spots”, such as the land Bayern.

This outcome can just raises the following question: “Why?”.

All German states have state of the art hospitals, all German states have great infrastructure, and some German states have even an easier dialect than Boarisch (the German dialect spoken in Bayern).

Of course some of you may have friends or family in some states and that would justify your decision when picking a specific region.
For some people of course the distance from their homeland plays a key role, so here is something you might not know.

As in antiquity all roads led to Rome, for the East-West medical highway all roads lead to Vienna, thus we invite you to take a closer look to the maps below and pinpoint the distance form your country and hometown to any German state and city.


The first map represents the map of Europe and all circles have Vienna as an epicenter. 

The second map is a close-up of the first map with focus on Germany so that you can see all German cities and states in the 300km, 450km, 600km, 750km and 900km distance radius of Vienna:

  • 300km radius: 
    Part of Bayern, including cities such as Passau, Deggendorf, Bad Füssing.
  • 300-450km radius:
    Part of Bayern, including cities such as München, Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Nürnberg, Erlangen.
    Part of Thüringen, including cities such as Grea.
    Most of Sachsen, including cities such as Zwickau, Plauen, Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig, Radeberg, Görlitz.
    Part of the state Brandenburg, including cities such as Cottbus, Lüben.
  • 450-600km radius:
    Most of Baden-Württemberg, including cities such as Albstadt, Ulm, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim, Heidelberg.
    Part of Bayern, including cities such as Würzburg and Schweinfurt.
    Part of Hessen, including cities such as Darmstadt, Frankfurt am Main, Kassel, Schlitz, Fulda.
    Part of Thüringen including cities such as Erfurt, Suhl, Weimar, Mühlhausen.
    Part of Niedersachsen, including cities such as Göttingen, Brunswick.
    Sachsen Anhalt, with cities such as Halle, Dessau, Magdeburg, Stendal.
    Part of Brandenburg, with cities such as Potsdam, Rathenow, Neuruppin, Schwedt.
    Part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with cities such as Neustrelitz.
  • 600-750km radius:
    Part of Baden-Württemberg, with cities such as Freiburg.
    Saarland, with cities such as Saarbrucken.
    Rheinland-Pfalz, with cities such as Kaiserlautern, Worms, Trier, Koblenz.
    Part of Hessen, including cities such as Wiesbaden, Wetzlar.
    Part of Nordrhein-Westfalen, including Bonn, Köln, Siegen, Remschied, Dortmund, Münster, Bielfeld.
    Part of Nidersachsen, icluding cities such as Hanover, Celle, Verden, Soltau, Uelzen, Lüneburg.
    Part of Schleswig-Holstein, with cities such as Ahrensburg, Lübeck.
    Part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with cities such as Schwerin, Rostock, Greifswald, Stralsund, Barth, Bergen.
  • 750-900km radius:
    Part of Nordrhein-Westfalen, with cities such as Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen.
    Part of Niedersachsen, with cities such as Osnabruck, Oldenburg, Lingen, Cuxhaven.
    Part of Schleswig-Holstein, with cities such as Kiel, Schleswig, Flensburg.


We would be more than delighted if you would tell us your preferences regarding working as a doctor in Germany!

EGV Recruiting

Estonia spends too little on health care

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Health care spending in Estonia is significantly lower than the average in the OECD countries, writes LETA/Postimees Online.

Estonia only spends 6.3% of its GDP on health care costs while the average among OECD members states is 9.5%, is revealed by the organisation’s 2012 health care sector overview. Only Mexico and Turkey spent proportionately less than Estonia for health care.

According to the organization, spending on health care increases together with the increase in wealth and the countries, with higher GDP, also have greater health care spending. For example, the United States spent 17.6% of their GDP on health care, the Netherlands 12% and France 11.6%.

Estonia’s GDP is also that much smaller from the point of view of purchasing power. Estonia’s GDP per capita is estimated at around 1030 Euros, while the OECD average in 2012 was 2600 Euros.

In the year-on-year comparison, Estonia’s health care spending grew by an average of 6.9% between 2000 and 2009. In 2010 however, it suffered a severe decline of 7.3%. Health care spending also fell in several other OECD member state in 2010.

Source of the article

Souce of the photo

The German language is golden!

Monday, May 28th, 2012


“As a foreign doctor working in Germany, it’s not enough to know how to order a pizza”.

The German doctors complain about the fact that their foreign colleagues have an insufficient vocabulary when it comes down to the German language skills. “Even if the foreign doctors have in most cases basic communication skills, these are not enough for an in depth communication with the patients and the colleagues”, states Die Welt. “As an on-call medic, it’s not enough to know how to order a pizza”, stated the President of the Doctor Federation of Marburg, Rudolf Henke. How true this statement is can be confirmed by any person who struggled with the “Der, die, das”.

The requirements that Henke has for the foreign doctors are not exaggerated. They have to be able to present the diagnosis without fail. These have to be very clearly formulated, in order to avoid misunderstandings regarding a patient’s condition. Given the shortage of doctors in German clinics, Henke welcomes doctors coming from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Spain. But he asks from the German authorities to check more strictly the releases of approbations to practice medicine.

The data released by the Federal Medical College indicates that the number of foreign medics registered in Germany has risen in 2010 with 7.9%, at 25.316. The percentage is even bigger, regarding foreign doctors working in hospitals, reaching 12.2%. The most immigrant doctors from 2010 come from European countries, 383 come from Romania.

It is an illusion to think that in Germany you can get by with English, and still be able to intensely communicate with clients, colleagues or patients. In my 22 years of living and working in Germany, in all sorts of companies, the fact that you can’t get by without knowing your “der, die, das” has been confirmed by my personal experience and even by other foreigners experience.

You need at least the basic German language skills, and then of course you have to have the will to learn professional notions characteristic for every field of work, to be able to communicate and keep your job.
You also need to be able to understand regional dialects, because not all Germans speak Hochdeutsch. Often you are faced with the Baden-Wurttemberg, Swabian or Bavarian or other dialects that can twist your ear and tongue.

The necessity of basic German language skills is faced also by the lower classes that come to Germany for seasonal work or as on site workers, etc.

The German nation is demanding. If you want to have a job in their country, you better be able to give results and be coherent when it comes to business conversations!

EGV Recruiting

Source of the Article

Climbing up the ladder: a guideline for immigrants seeking high paying jobs in Germany

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012



As a leading healthcare recruiting firm, EGV Recruiting, has helped a great number of doctors to start their medical careers in Germany. The following article underlines the guidelines for immigrants in general to climb up the career ladder in Germany by following some simple steps. These general principles apply to any career and are fundamentally linked to the need of integration in a foreign country. We chose this general article also due to the fact that it is not uncommon to have candidates that are doctors but have husbands or wives that are not doctors.

Immigrants have traditionally had a tough time when trying to launch professional careers in Germany, but thanks to globalization, their prospects are drastically improving.

When Liu Zhengrong came to Germany 20 years ago, like so many other students from abroad, he had to do his fair share of odd jobs to keep his head above water. He waited tables in a Chinese restaurant, delivered newspapers and worked in printing shops and factories.

“It would be a bit of an exaggeration to say that I had a plan back then,” Liu says today. His job prospects in Germany were, to be honest, bleak. The subjects he’d studied – education and political science – didn’t really qualify him for a career in business. This did not bode well considering immigrant graduates typically experience more difficulties on the labor market than their domestic counterparts.

Against the odds

Only a third of non-German graduates find jobs that match their qualifications, says Ingrid Jungwirth, a migration researcher at Berlin’s Humboldt University. For native Germans, however, the success rate is twice as high.

The disparity also applies to management and leadership positions: Close to 17 percent of German university graduates end up in management, while only 8 percent of immigrant graduates manage to get a foothold on the career ladder.

Given these statistics, few people would be surprised if Liu Zhengrong was still working on a factory floor as a laborer. That is not the case, however. Today, Liu is a staff manager at Leverkursen-based pharmaceutical group Lanxess and is responsible for around 15000 employees. When he took the job seven years ago, there were reservations, he admits, partially because of his background, but also because at the time, he was considered comparatively young for such a position, at the age of 35.

“Of course, many people asked whether or not I would understand them at all? Can he manage this?” says Liu. “I had to prove through my work, through my behavior, that I was capable. And I was more or less successful.”

No career without a network

Prior to joining Lanxess, Liu’s career path had been long and winding. His fortunes changed when, as a student, he was hired to manage Chinese lessons for Lanxess’ parent company, Bayer. He was then asked if he wanted to help build a training and education system for the company in China. In this capacity, he met a number of executives who recognized his abilities and duly promoted him.

“Otherwise, with the combination of subjects I had studied, it would have been much more difficult to gain a foothold in the business,” says Liu. Eventually, he was offered his position within the personnel department at Lanxess.

Ingrid Jungwirth says this highlights the fact that it’s often not enough for people to display exceptional skills in their jobs, especially in the cas of migrants. “It is crucial in all highly qualified professions to have networks and to be informed,” she says.

Jungwirth encourages anyone wanting to kick-start their career to systematically build contact by getting involved in professional associations, for example.

Internationally preferred

Nowadays, in the executive suites of many global corporations, having a foreign background is often regarded as a plus.

“Most companies operate globally and are therefore looking quite consciously for people from all over the world to reflect the internationalism of the organization,” says Sorge Drosten, managing director of recruitment firm Kienbaum Executinve Consultants International. For the headhunter, having international clients is now the status quo. Dorsten says around a third of the executives his company places come from abroad.

In the international elite labor market, origin has often played an ancillary role. However, the situation is much different for the individuals who don’t come to Germany as internationally sought top executives.

“When you immigrate without a job in the pipeline then it’s really tough,” says Ingrid Jungwirth. In this case, migrants have to try to find internships, part-time work or seek further qualifications to break into their desired field.

Integration as a career prerequisite

Drosten says those wishing to come to Germany should not be discouraged by this. In the next 10-20 years, he says there will be excellent opportunities in Europe’s largest economy.

“Given the demographic gap, there will be many, many ways to move up the ladder quickly here,” he says, adding that it is important that migrants try to integrate by learning the German language and building a network of friends.

But professional excellence and German language skills alone are often not enough to forge a successful career in Germany – a point Liu Zhengrong emphasizes over and over again. Migrants should be interested in their surroundings, he says: “Without integration, moving up in a multinational company is not conceivable.”

Liu says he still considers his days as a waiter and paper delivery boy of great value: “It helped me experience and get to know many different facets of German society – and first hand, too.”


Source of the article here:,,15472720,00.html


Monday, January 30th, 2012


In this article we highlight some aspects regarding the benefits of the German living standards, regarding aspects such as: top best-cities in the world, job security, a good healthcare, subsidized education, paid leave and working hours.



German-speaking cities occupy top places in best-cities survey

30 November 2011: Vienna has again been named as the ‘best’ city in the world, with the Austrian capital’s perennial Swiss rival, Zurich, in second place. Auckland, Munich and Düsseldorf complete the top five. Overall, German-speaking cities occupy six places in the top ten in this year’s Quality of Living Survey by Mercer Consulting.

Compared to 2010, the most prominent changes in Mercer’s city rankings are: Munich up from 7th to 4th place; Geneva down from 3rd to 8th place; Hamburg up from 23rd to 16th place; Brussels down from 14th to 22nd place; Paris up from 34th to 30th place; Calgary down from 28th to 33rd place; Barcelona up from 44th to 40th place; Lisbon up from 45th to 41st place; Madrid up from 48th to 43rd place and Tokyo down from 40th to 46th place. Two other Japanese cities, Kobe and Yokohama, both dropped by seven places.

European city ranks 2011:

  1. Vienna , Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Munich, Germany
  4. Dusseldorf, Germany
  5. Frankfurt, Germany
  6. Geneva, Switzerland
  7. Bern, Switzerland
  8. Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  10. Hamburg, Germany
  11. Berlin, Germany
  12. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  13. Stockholm, Sweden
  14. Brussels, Belgium
  15. Nurnberg, Germany
  16. Dublin, Ireland
  17. Stuttgart, Germany
  18. Paris, France
  19. Oslo, Norway
  20. Helsinki, Finland
  21. London, UK
  22. Lyon, France
  23. Barcelona, Spain
  24. Lisbon, Portugal
  25. Milan, Italy
  26. Madrid, Spain


So with 7 cities in the top and middle placement in the European “best-cities” charts it is quite obvious to notice the fact that Germany benefits of probably the best, political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, health and sanitation system, school and education system, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing and natural environment.

“Germany – Great average salary—$61,433—monster health benefits, “and their legendary autobahns are still mostly without speed limits.” Good thing for that health insurance.”


The Germans are having it twice as good as the Americans. See what benefits have families in Germany!


“A German couple who earns 40.000$/year benefits from higher standards of living than a pair of double-income Americans,” states

Volkmar Kruger, a foreman at a glass factory in Germany, and his wife Vera Kruger, who is employed part-time at a company that tracks stocks, enjoy job security, a good healthcare, subsidized education and six weeks of leave per year.

Also, the Kruger family benefits from an efficient economy, with a low rate of unemployment, job security and a low inflation keeping their purchasing power high.

The German government can afford to provide extensive social services and subsidies, which enabled the Krugers to send their son to college for just 260 dollars per semester. On the other hand, the recent surgery performed on one of the spouses set the family back with only 13$ per/day of hospitalization.



Quality of life, learning from the German way of Efficient Working


Thomas Geoghegan, a Chicago-based labor lawyer and author of “Were you born on the wrong Continent?: How the European Model can help you get a Life”, states that America can learn from the German working model, where people work less hours, have higher productivity and enjoy a greater quality of life.

Geoghegan argues that by simply putting in more hours of work doesn’t make Americans more productive than their German counterparts. On the contrary, Germans are more efficient, which may be because they are able to take more time off from work. He says ironically, that the European model embraced by Germany actually is based on the US model that the Allies implemented after WWII, which helped shape social democracy.

Since the start of the recession, the number of unemployment in the US has doubled. Those who are fortunate enough to still have jobs, are often working longer hours for less pay, with the ever present threat of losing their job. But even before the recession, American workers were already clocking in the most hours in the West. Compared to our German cousins across the pond, we work 1,804 hours versus their 1,436 hours – the equivalent of nine extra 40-hour workweeks per year.

European social democracy – particularly Germany’s – offers some tantalizing solutions to our overworked age. In comparison to the U.S. the Germans live in a socialist idyll. They have six weeks of federal mandated vacation, free university tuition, nursing care and childcare. In an attempt to make Germany more like the U.S. Angela Merkel has proposed deregulation and tax cuts only to be met with fury on the left.


I bet we gave you here o bunch of reasons to consider moving to Germany. If you are interested in the cost of living in Germany, we already covered that topic here.

Now it’s time for you to share your reasons for moving to Germany!

Thank you!



Government report indicates better prospects for immigrants in Germany

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Germany is making progress when it comes to integrating people with immigrant backgrounds. The government in Berlin has released its latest study on the matter – showing considerable improvement, if not equality.

The government’s second “integration indicators report” – the first appeared two years ago – focused on integration in Germany between 2005 and 2010. Maria Bohmer, the government’s special representative for migration, refugees and integration, unveiled the study in Berlin.

Key questions in the study include school qualifications secured by people with immigrant backgrounds, their participation in apprenticeships and their performance in the job market. Government researchers also sought to establish to what extent Germany’s 16 million residents with immigrant backgrounds were an established part of society.

Bohmer alluded to significantly improved integration over the past decade, saying that people with foreign roots were more and more active in many parts of German society.

“That’s especially the case for people born in Germany with immigrant backgrounds. And it’s also the case in the core areas of society – early education, education more generally, on-the-job training and also on the job market,”Bohmer said.



Start them young

Kindergarten and other forms of pre-school education remain a key focus of the study – with Bohmer saying that attending such institutions, played a key role in the early development of German language skills. Despite the fact that 34% more immigrant families were sending their young children to pre-school education in 2010 compared to 2008, Bohmer also acknowledged that “when it comes to attendance in children’s daycare facilities, we still have a smaller participation level compared to that of German children.”

This can also sometimes be explained, Bohmer said, either by the availability of places in various states or by the working hours of the children’s parents.


Improvements at school

The special representative for migration and information also lauded positive trends among schoolchildren observed in the report. In the five-year period studied, the number of young people with migrant backgrounds who left school without a basic level graduation fell by 15%. What’s more, the number of second-generation immigrants who failed to graduate (2.8 percent) was a little under half the number of first-generation immigrants (5.7 percent) non-graduates.

Bohmer also said that the study suggested that a child’s home lifestyle was a more decisive factor in such matters than their foreign heritage, and that it was extremely important that children spoke German at home.

“Parents must live up to their responsibilities. We need to better integrate them into the education process,” Bohmer said.


Room for improvement in training sector

Apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training for young adults were an area Bohmer highlited, that must still be improved, despite some positive developments. Roughly 13% of 15-25-year-olds with migrant backgrounds undertake apprenticeships, compared to 16 percent of the population as a whole.

On the other hand, the number of children whit foreign roots who attended higher education – either technical colleges or universities – rose by 28 percent between 2005 and 2010.

There were some positive trends in the job market as well, most notably a drastic reduction in immigrant unemployment – from 18.1 percent in 2005 to 11.8 percent in 2010. That new, lower figure remains well above the national average though.

One enduring problem here is the difficulties people with foreign qualifications can have in Germany, where their achievements have been rarely recognized – at least until recently.

“The recently-approved “recognition law” is bringing considerable progress here. It’s an integration milestone,”Bohmer said.


Lack of immigrants in public sector jobs

The integration minister also highlighted the need for government to do more. Roughly 10% of public sector employees are from immigrant backgrounds, which is not a representative ratio, according to Bohmer.

“The public sector must also reflect the diversity of our society. We need more employees with foreign roots in the public sector; they can build bridges,” Maria Bohmer said, going on to explain that a recruitment drive had already been launched.

The educational sector proved an exception to the rule, with the proportion of foreign staff increasing in elementary schools, high schools and higher education.

Bohmer concluded by admitting that the ultimate goal of complete equality was by no means a reality in many areas of society.

“But the development is clearly on the right path. The results for people born in Germany with immigrant backgrounds show this above all,” she said.

Author: Sabine Rippberger

Editor: Nancy Isenson

Source of the article here:,,15663903,00.html

Hungary counts the growing cost of brain drain

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011


July 8, 2011 – Hungarian radiology has become trapped in a vicious circle: A combination of low prestige, long hours, and, most especially, low wages is driving a brain drain of the most experienced specialists to find work abroad, in particular to the Republic of Ireland, Scandinavia, the UK and Germany, according to one of the country’s leading practitioner.

Gabor Forrai, PhD, heads Hungary’s biggest radiology department in one of its newest, best equipped establishments, the AEK military hospital in Budapest. Trainee doctors want to work there; the environment is good, its reputation high and the cases interesting. Last year a call to fill two trainee posts resulted in 24 applicants. The problem lies in finding qualified staff. Up to four senior posts have been open in the same department for two years, without a single applicant. The situation is mirrored in every hospital in the country, Forrai said.

“Because of the shortage of experienced specialists, the workload is heavy. Every doctor who goes abroad compounds the problem, and the trend is getting worse,” he said. He himself has lost seven radiologists to other countries in the EU in the past three years. A university hospital department head recently told him that of seven residents now in the second year, four had said they were leaving to work abroad. “From my departem in the last four months, three doctors have left, one young, just after specializing and two over 50. It is tragic,” he said.

Doctors have always been attracted by the opportunities of working abroad, of course. In the mid ‘90s, Forrai spent time in France and Germany. But prior to the EU’s accession of Hungary, taking up a permanent position would have required complete retraining, lasting six years. “That’s not so funny when you are already in your 30s and have already qualified once,” he said.

Since 2004, when Hungary became an EU member, its qualifications have been recognized in the rest of the union, as have the quality of its training and the skills of its specialists – and that has fueled the growing exodus. Forrai is a board member of the Hungarian Society of Radiologists. A country with a population of 10 million has an estimated 900 active registered radiologists, but between 100 and 150 of those work abroad. Three years ago, the figure was 53. “Last year, there were 18 radiology specialists who applied to the medical chamber for the documentation they need to work abroad,” he said. Even that doesn’t paint the full picture, though, because the growing trend of teleradiology is sucking yet more from the system – specialists who live in Hungary but spend their time remotely reporting on MR and CT scans for the Republic of Ireland, the UK and other nations.

“I know five to 10 Hungarian doctors who will earn two to three times as much working for a few hours reporting CTs via the Internet than they will in a six-or eight-hour day at the hospital,” Forrai said.

Nor is the brain drain unique to radiology; it affects all three pillars of diagnostic medicine, with pathologists and laboratory specialists also in increasingly short supply. “There is a hospital in Sweden where the entire pathology department, six or seven doctors, is Hungarian, and team meetings are held in Hungarian,” he reported.

Norway, in particular, has embraced the fruits of Hungarian medical training. It is not uncommon to find Norwegian students in this country’s university hospitals. While Norway’s four oldest universities (Bergen, Oslo, Tromso and Trondheim) all have faculties or schools of medicine, there is no specialized university dedicated to medicine alone. “It’s easier and cheaper to recruit our specialists, Forrai added.

The Hungarian Medical Chamber appears to welcome foreign headhunters to the country (recruiting conferences are held in the capital, and language courses are offered for those who need them), he said. Forrai believes the chamber passes on contact details for direct mailing. “I get three or four letters every year. I’m not against people working abroad; I’ve done it myself. I’m quite open-minded, and my son is studying in France now, but I don’t think it’s our job to help recruit for other countries.”

Such is the mess of the country’s healthcare system that there can be no quick fix. By law, social security contributions to healthcare funds do not cover amortization or replacement of equipment, but running costs only. Every state hospital owes millions of forints to its medical suppliers. Partly as a consequence, doctors here are near the bottom of EU salary scales.

The average salary for a young qualified radiologist will be in the region of 565 euros per month before tax, Forrai said. An experienced radiologist in his or her 40s would be doing well to pull down 940 euros, while doctors in their 50s earn 1,120 euros per month.

Two-thirds of medical students want to leave Hungary for western countries where they can earn up to 10 times as much, according to a survey by the increasingly vocal Hungarian Residents’ Association, which represents junior doctors. Magor Papp, the head of the association, told state news agency MTI earlier this year that a resident doctor’s average monthly take-home pay for 60-70 hours of work per week is no more than 300 euros – a sum he said was equivalent to the pay of a street sweeper.

A radiologist will attract a bigger salary than an average general practitioner, of course, but not by much, and that isn’t the whole story. For the past 50 years, Hungarian healthcare has operated on a “pocket money” system. Healthcare is free at the point of service, but patients are expected to pay all clinical medical workers a gratuity. As it isn’t declared, no tax is paid, but everyone seems to accept this situation. Since radiologists rarely have a personal relationship with their patients, it is an extra channel of income that isn’t available to them. Experienced specialists, even the heads of Hungary’s university hospital departments, routinely hold down second or third jobs. “In Hungary, a vet is better paid than a doctor,” Forrai remarked.

Copyright © 2011

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