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Why we need Wikipedia and why Wikipedia needs us

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015


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Crowd-sourcing is the backbone of Wikipedia, and of the utopian new world of the internet. Via Flickr

As we move through life we gain an understanding of what we want our contribution to the world to be. Some try to leave an ‘I WAS HERE’ that can be seen from outer space, and some are happy to contribute their part to the project of humanity in a more quiet manner. As doctors, the instinct to contribute is hardwired in the work we do, or else, we wouldn’t have chosen this profession.

The story of Wikipedia is the story of a silent, incremental victory, constructed at the hands of millions of such contributors. And the end result is set to be the stuff of science fiction: a continuously updating database of all human knowledge, accessible at any time, even (and especially) through your phone.

The often dodgy reputation of Wikipedia is based on its crowd-sourced structure. That means anybody can edit the posts and as the reasoning goes, ‘anybody’ is an untrustworthy individual. The reality is that the accuracy of the site has been tested against the cream of the crop of reference sources, the “Encyclopedia Britannica” and has been shown to be just as accurate, or sometimes more so. The more people contribute to and edit an article, the more the accuracy improves, while sources like the Britannica are static. Adding to that, I highly doubt that you will find any entry about the buttered cat paradox in any hard-copy encyclopedia.

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Information is power, and states like China are doing their best (and worst) to silence it. Via Cox & Forkum

Be honest, how many times have you looked up medical information in wikipedia? We thought so. It is easy to dismiss Wikipedia as just a treasure trove for lazy high schoolers or as the last word in solving an argument among friends about the origin of some type of sausage. The reality is, in many places where information is an expensive commodity, it is much more than that. Wikipedia is on the edge of a revolution in education and is working alongside innovators such as Bill Gates to provide access to education in places where it is needed most, like sub-saharan Africa or India.

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Your contribution could break the cycle of poverty for so many children, through the gift of education. Via Kmende

An incredible number of success stories stand testament to the fact that the site is a major source for people in disadvantaged countries. An example is Akshaya Iyengar, a girl from a poor town in India that used Wikipedia to fuel her transformation from underprivileged child to software engineer in the U.S. She is just one of thousands, soon to be millions. Another strongtestament to the value of its contributions is the constant censorship that plagues the site in states like China and Iran. In a context where information is power, the mere availability of it is almost subversive to authoritarian governments and acts as an important platform for dissidents, activists and especially for people that don’t have access to information and just want to learn.

In recent years, Wikipedia has started a donation drive to expand its hardware, update its software and strategy and keep the site free of intrusive advertising. Raising money any other way is a complicated affair for a company that can’t offer investors any scaleable monetisation and is, in practice, a charity for information. While many people find the donation drive aggressive it is mainly because we have gotten used to the comfortable luxury of having this vast portal into knowledge open, for free. The truth is that the infrastructure of the seventh most visited site on the internet can’t be managed for pennies out of somebody’s garage. If we want to be part of the grandiose project of cataloging the expanse of knowledge, we can start by either contributing expertise or by contributing cash. Both add their significant part to the goal of spreading valuable knowledge.

As an organisation we are proud to donate to Wikipedia, because we deal in intelligence. The doctors and organisations we help are the product of their cumulated minds and experience. There is no other charity that is so directly valuable for so many of us and we strongly urge you to do your, even if small, part to expand Wikipedia’s web of wisdom and aid its many incredibly valuable projects.

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All roads lead to Russian ballet if you have a free afternoon and internet access. Via Flickr

Even though the site has been through its share of criticism for asking us directly for cash, the value it creates is undeniable any time you get sucked into its information hole and end up researching Russian ballet when all you wanted was to find out about how they make blue cheese. That is the miracle of creating relevant, updated and interesting information at the click of a button. The fact is, the world we live in is built on the supremacy of information and Wikipedia is, at the moment, humanity’s best shot at getting all that information cataloged, organized and accessible.

What if we told you that with the price of one coffee you could contribute a small but essential part to the project of universal access to knowledge? You may not feel the ripples of this small gesture just yet, but the expected return is enormous: access to the vastness of universal education for everyone, especially those that need it most.

Contribute now! 


By Alexandra Kaschuta

What is psychosomatic medicine?

Friday, June 5th, 2015


Psychosomatic medicine focuses on the interactions between mind and body and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social and spiritual factors can directly affect health.

Psychosomatic medicine focuses on the study and treatment of those emotional disturbances that are manifested as physical disorders. The term psychosomatic emphasizes essential unity of the psyche and the soma, a combination rooted in ancient Greek medicine. Common disorders caused at least partly by psychological factors include childhood asthma, certain gastrointestinal problems, hypertension, endocrine disturbances, diabetes, and possibly even heart disease.

Psychosomatic medicine deals with:

  • Clinical situations where mental processes act as a major factor affecting medical outcomes.
  • illnesses due to the interaction of the mind and the body
  • physical diseases which have a mental component derived from the stresses and strains of everyday living ex. lower back pain, high blood pressure
  • the influence that the mind has over physical processes
  • disabilities that are based on intellectual infirmities, rather than actual injuries or physical limitations, (somatoform disorders)
  • physical illness with their biopsychosocial aspects e.g. cancer diseases
  • physiological and functional disorders as response to psychological or physical trauma e.g. posttraumatic stress disorder and adjustment disorders
  • Conversion disorders physical symptoms , which go back to unconscious conflicts
  • Hypochondria
  • disturbed health behavior and its consequences (e.g. smoking)
  • mental disorders associated with physical discomfort: depression, anxiety disorders
  • mental illness, which have physiological effects : eating disorders, personality disorders

Psychosomatic medicine treatments are necessary in 3 different situations:

  1. The patients who have both a mental (psychiatric) illness and a medical illness, and these illnesses complicate the symptoms and management of each other
  2. The patients who have a psychiatric problem that is a direct result of a medical illness or its treatment, such as having depression due to cancer and its treatment.
  3. Somatoform disorders. Somatoform disorders are psychiatric disorders that are displayed through physical problems. In other words, the physical symptoms people experience are related to psychological factors rather than a medical cause.

Some examples:

  • Conversion disorder
  • Somatization disorder
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Pain disorder

Treatment types

  • psychotherapeutic conversation
  • dynamical psychotherapy
  • psychoanalyze
  • analytical group therapy
  • family therapy
  • suggestive therapy
  • hypnosis
  • body centered therapy
  • self-help groups


Advantages of residency training in psychosomatic medicine

Psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy is an exciting and new growing medical specialty with a fast and constant evolution. It offers a new point of view regarding the correlation between physical and (somatic) illness and psychiatric factors that create somatic illnesses without physical substance. An interesting aspect is the fact that a psychosomatic medicine and Psychotherapy practitioner has the opportunity to conduct psychiatric evaluations and treatments for mentally healthy individuals without having to interact with common psychiatric patients.

In Germany psychosomatic primary care is compulsory part of training in all specialties. All practicing physicians need to complete an 80-hour course of basic psychosomatic care (psychosocial diagnostic interview, psychotherapeutic interventions, and relaxation techniques). The most common training method in psychosomatic medicine is based on the Balint groups method, in which a group of doctors, therapists and Psychologists consult with each other regarding the treatments of the patients and the treatment relationships.

The residency training lasts 5 years and the required rotations are the following:

  • 1 year psychiatry and psychotherapy (6 months can be spent in the department of child and adolescent psychiatry)
  • 1 year Internal medicine
  • 3 years in psychosomatics

If you start a residency in psychosomatic medicine and want to change your specialty, you can get some part of your residency training in psychosomatic medicine recognized in the following specialties:

  • Anesthesiology – 12 Months
  • Surgery – 6 Months
  • Gynecology – 6 Months (training in psychosomatics is mandatory)
  • Human genetics – 12 Months
  • Internal medicine and general medicine – 12 Months (training in psychosomatics is mandatory)
  • Pediatrics and adolescent medicine – 6 Months
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy – 12 Months
  • Neurology – 12 Months
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry -12 Months
  • Pathology – 12 Months
  • Pharmacology – 12 Months
  • Radiology – 12 Months

Supra specialties of psychosomatic medicine are:

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Psychotherapy
  • Rehabilitations medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Allergology
  • Occupational medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Homeopathy


Health and ageing

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Hamburg: Since the 1960s, the life expectancy in most European countries has risen with 11 years. Still, most European citizens (60%) over 65 have at least 3 chronic diseases.

Thus since 2007, the Ministry of Education and Research emphasizes on the importance of a healthy ageing process.

“The research conducted aims to educate and help with the early recognition of potential threats to the state of health of an individual. Prevention should be a priority.” Stated Johanna Wanka, the Minister of Education and Research.

This approach aims to have the individual in the center of attention and should be aiming to provide a longer disease-free life and not a longer life with disease.

Doctors recruited by EGV visit their future employers in Switzerland

Friday, July 6th, 2012

The plane is on its way to Zurich and before touching the ground three of its passengers look through the window asking themselves: Could this be my home in the future?

They are doctors who applied through us for a job in a Swiss health care establishment and we organized a study tour in which one of our consultants accompanied them in order to meet the employer and see with their own eyes how their future workplace might look like.

In the morning we are invited to see the medical center which was built from the ground after the former GP retired and where on approximately 200 square meters we can see the vision of modern medicine come to life.

Together with one of the candidates we meet the coordinator of the medical center, a German GP which decided to move to Switzerland in order to escape the bureaucracy in Germany and to have a balanced and calm life. He tells us that after 6 Months he feels that he can take enough time to treat his patients and he does not have to be in a rush all the time.

After this meeting we are invited on a tour through the medical center, first we stop at the center’s private pharmacy, which would be not allowed in other countries, then comes the laboratory where a nice lady explains us which kind of tests they can perform and which ones they send out per post in order to get the results the second day.

In another room we can find a new ultrasound instrument and in another one an EKG and a bike in order to perform effort EKG. Close by is also the Roentgen machine.

One of the candidates tells me with a smile on his face that this is how he always wanted to treat patients: “Everything in one place”!

We are invited for lunch in the old town where our hosts booked a nice table outside. From the terrace we can observe that the streets are almost empty and that the atmosphere is calm. Our hosts explains us that many people go home in order to eat with their families and that in many families only one person is working because they can afford a good living from a single income.

A part of the study tour is also to discover the region and we decided to drive to lake Constance (or Bodensee), Central Europe’s third largest lake. The boats are swinging in the water and from the shore we can see the Alps on the Austrian side and the nice churches and houses of Lindau on the German side of the lake.

Living in Switzerland is fascinating because the distances between the cities are small and you have to drive a short way to work if you plan to live outside the city or if you just want to ski in the Alps for a day. Also from Zurich you can reach Milan, Munich or Innsbruck in about 3 hours and in 4 hours you could be in Lyon, Luxembourg, Frankfurt or at the Mediterranean see near Genoa.

In the evening we met again for dinner and the coordinator of the medical center was so nice to join us with his wife. We were advised about the local dishes and we all decided to have Rösti as a side. During the evening the doctor’s minds were focused on exchanging ideas on professional issues but in their hearts they tried to find the answer to the same question: Could this be my home in the future?

If you would like to find out more about our vacancies in Switzerland click here!

Or contact us!

Germany’s school system

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012


As a great proportion of our candidates here at EGV Recruiting are pursuing medical careers in Germany, a particular question seems to always pop up: “I have small children, how does the education system in Germany work?”

For those who follow our posts regularly, you know that it’s not uncommon for us to go the extra mile and offer additional information, so we decided to detail the aspects of the German education system in this article. So here we go…

For a foreigner, trying to size up the education system is one of the hardest things they have to face. So here is what you should know about German schools and daycare.

Like almost every aspect of the German social policy, the education system is facing a series of major changes. This follows the publication of a comparative international study of education that showed Germany’s educational standards have slipped in the recent years, a fact that sparked a major debate about the need for overhauling the country’s education system.

The way things stand at the moment, the German education system is state-based with each of the German 16 states (Länder) operating their own school and educational system which differ in varying degrees from one another. While German students are held to high academic standards and Germany and students regularly face oral examinations, the nation’s education is a far cry from the strict Prussian system that some expats fear they are launching their children into when they take up a posting in Germany. Often, however, the curriculum is very focused on academic pursuits rather than a range of more general interests such as photography or different kinds of music.

On average, children start school at the age of six. Some of the states have a cut-off date (30 June). If the child is born after this date, they are considered a kann Kind (literally “can child”) as opposed to a muss Kind (must child). This means that they can attend school if they pass a test but they are not obligated to start the following September. The administrators generally try to discourage early admissions based on the assumption that even if the child is intellectually ready they may still be to socially and physically immature to begin school.

Prior to the Grundschule (primary or elementary school), most children attend a so-called Kita (Kindertagesstätte), which is a kind of pre-school. Daycare services are also provided at Kitas which offer after-school and sometimes pre-school activities for children. The maximum age is about 11 or 12 with daycare in Germany. There is currently a political discussion in Germany with the objective to provide free Kita admissions to families in the lower income brackets.

There are 3 types of Kitas:

Kinderkrippe: It is specifically designed for children up to three years. It is not free and costs may vary according to specific regions.

Kindergarten: Is intended for children between 3-6 years, it is not a part of the regular public school system and is not required or free. Tuition is nominally based on income. Space is often limited and even though it’s not mandatory, the majority of children attend it.

Kitas: Daycare services are also provided at Kitas, which offer after-school and sometimes pre- school activities for children. The age limit for children at Kitas is about 11-12, with many Kitas offering facilities for quite young children. Once again a fee is charged for children attending.
Schulhort: Is designed for pupils of elementary schools (Grundschule-up to 11-12 years) to provide daycare for pre and after school hours.

Kinderläden and Schülerläden: Are privately operated daycare services, which offer an alternative to the state-run Kitas. While Kinderläden offer activities for pre-schoolers, Schülerläden only offer after-school activities. Parents also have to pay a fee.


Children attend Grundschule for four years in most of the German states the only exceptions are Berlin and Brandenburg where Grundschule lasts for six years.

On the first day at Grundschule, children bring a Schultute, which is a large decorative conical parcel filled with candy and little presents and the older school children put on a performance for the new students and their families.

In addition to the 3 R’s, the children learn about science, local history and geography. Additionally, children are given religion lessons. Parents may opt for their children not to attend religion classes by having them attend ethics lessons instead.


Non-German students:

The school grade into which foreign pupils are placed when they arrive in Germany depends on how well they speak German. Children who do not speak German at home and who have not attended a German Kindergarten often repeat the first or second grade.

Since the number of non-German students has constantly risen over the years, some adaptations have been made. Children who were not born in Germany or whose parents do not speak German at home are offered additional lessons in the form of preparatory classes, bilingual classes, intensive courses and remedial classes depending on the State.

Foreigners whose children are born and raised in Germany are often concerned that their children are losing their cultural roots. Therefore, in some states, children with non-German parents have the right to some tuition coverage for classes in the mother tongue of their parents.

High school:

In the last year of Grundschule (usually the fourth year), the decision is made as to whether pupils will attend the Hauptschule (fifth to ninth year), Realschule (fifth to tenth year), Gymnasium (fifth to twelfth or thirteenth year). Gesamtschule is offered in some regions in Germany as an alternative. It combines these three types of high school and offers differentiation at a later stage, based on performance.

The system is quite rigid with the pupils placed into the different types of schools based entirely on their academic performance.

School hours:

The school day starts at 8am and is generally over by 1pm with the schools tending not to offer anything much in the way of extracurricular activities. There are of course a host of school groups such as theatre and sport associations. But there are also a range of after-school and sometimes pre-school facilities for essentially for child minding for children up to the age of about 12 and which are sometimes provided in the actual school grounds. Once again a fee is charged based on income.

School vacations:

Children have generally six weeks of summer vacation, one week of autumn vacation, two weeks of Christmas/winter vacation and two weeks of Easter/spring vacation.


About a quarter of the children go to ‘Gymnasium’. It has nothing to do with sports or any kind of physical education and instead is the literal translation of high school.

‘Gymnasium’ lasts from about the age of 12 to 18 or 19 and is required for anyone planning on tertiary education.

At least two foreign languages are required, one being English and the other is generally Latin French or Spanish. In the 13th grade students prepare for the Abitur. This is an examination that students in general need to pass in order to have access to the tertiary education level.

In most of the German states, a student who fails more than two subjects will have to repeat the whole school year. However, he or she cannot repeat the same grade twice. The student is then required to change schools. Unlike the US, there is no summer school.

Students also have to choose a Zweig (a branch) in the seventh grade, for example, math/science or languages or humanities. The students then have extra classes or more hours in those subject areas.


About one quarter of the children attend Realschule where they learn the basic subjects which will prepare them for a mid-level job in business. It’s possible (if the student receives high enough grades) to transfer from a Realschule to a Gymnasium.

After six years, the students graduate with a diploma called the Mittlere Reife.

The next step is normally a vocational school where they learn skills that put them in to the middle strata of business and industry. Salesmen, nurses, mid-level civil servants, secretaries, and so forth generally have been to Realschule.


The final half of the elementary school children are sent to the Hauptschule. It is a five year program that teaches basic skills, including one foreign language, and prepares its pupils for apprenticeships or an unskilled or semiskilled role in the job market.

The pupils also continue learning basic subjects as well as English. After a student graduates from a Hauptschule they can go on to a vocational school, which lasts about two years.


Another option for the parents is to send their children to a Gesamtschule (comprehensive school) which is attended by students of all different abilities. Students can also take their final exam (abitur) at a so called ‘Kollegschule’ which is associated with the Gesamtschule.

Private schools:

The exception to the rule in this whole system is the private school. There are currently about 3000 private schools in Germany, many of them boarding schools. These schools often have a longer school day.
There are also international schools at which the classes are taught in English. Often the curriculum is designed to prepare students for the International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma.


German education system also includes vocational schools called Berufsschule or Berufskolleg, where students normally aged between 16 and 19 (but in some cases also up to 23 years) can undertake a range of work-directed studies such as economics and specific business studies. These studies are usually directly related to an apprenticeship.

So I sincerely hope if you found the information provided by us in this article useful for you to leave your appreciation in a form of a comment, share ore like.
Thank you!


Source of the article here


Fortbildung und Weiterbildung 2012

Friday, March 2nd, 2012


Due to the fact that most of our candidates apply for medical careers in Germany, we have decided to post on our blog a short article about the importance of constant training and learning. At the end of the article you will also find the Fort- und Weiterbildungskalender for 2012 in Germany.


The importance of further training and continuing training for doctors

Every doctor knows that the health profession is in a constant growth and that every professional is in need of constant training in order to keep up with this constantly changing environment. Every year there are thousands of clinical trials conducted worldwide in order to test innovative diagnostic, therapeutic or rehabilitative measures. In the field of health services, the research activity is lively.

Most of these studies are published in international journals and encourage the exchange of ideas and experiences among experts, and thus the need for constantly new studies carries on.

The expectations of healthy and sick citizens are steadily increasing. The medical information has to sensitize the population in terms of health and performance of doctors, nurses, rehabilitation personnel and other health care professionals.

The experience of recent decades and the track records of different teaching methods have led to the today covered basic training of health personnel and in view of later additions and updates are made more flexible and open. The most important changes have taken place in the part of education and training. The measures are no longer sporadic and patchy they are much more comprehensive, holistic and coordinated so that they are consistent with the overarching goal of continuous quality improvement of the health system.

The fact that continuing training and education as a part of clinical management, is now a top priority, has made it now a key factor in the entire organization. Health professionals must indeed still take responsibility for the conduct of appropriate training and continuing education opportunities in terms of their own educational needs, but at the same time, the health facilities have to provide the necessary framework and conditions.


Fort- und Weiterbildungskalender for 2012 in Germany:


Thank you for appreciating the fact that we always choose to go the extra mile in order to bring you more than just career opportunities!

Sincerely,  the EGV Recruiting Team!


Working as a Doctor in Saudi Arabia

Monday, February 27th, 2012


EGV Recruiting is known as a leading healthcare recruitment agency operating in Europe, recruiting doctors form Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Lithuania and Latvia for medical care providers in Germany, France, Sweden and Norway.

We have decided to branch out and bring our candidates the opportunity to apply for medical careers in the Middle East, rewarded with payments and benefits that no EU country offers at the moment!


Introduction to Saudi Arabia:

The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia is the largest state in Western Asia, by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second largest in the Arab World. It has access to the Red Sea in the west and Persian Gulf in the northeast.

Saudi Arabia has the world’s second largest oil reserves and is the world’s second largest oil exporter. Oil accounts for more than 90% of exports and nearly 75% of government revenues. According to the studies made by the World Bank in 2009, Saudi Arabia has the strongest economy among the Arab states, and its economy is the 13th most competitive in the world.


“Romanian Doctors in high demand in the United Arab Emirates” – was a resounding title in the Romanian press last year, as highlighted by the Romanian news program “Stirile ProTV”:


“The news about the skillful Romanian doctors has traveled far, reaching even the ears of the officials in the Sheikh kingdoms. So, the UAE officials appeal more and more to the Romanian healthcare specialists, especially for luxurious private clinics.

There they receive salaries worthy of “One thousand and one nights”, salaries even 20 times higher than in Romania.

As a specialist doctor in orthopedics, Jenel Patrascu, after working for years and years at the Timisoara County Hospital, got a little tired of his paycheck. So he decided to start applying for jobs in the Emirates and started sending a bunch of resumes. Soon he was called for an interview and started regular work in a part-time system.

The rich in Qatar, Kuwait and UAE, including the Royal family are willing to bear transportation and accommodation costs rewarding with nothing but the best the Romanian doctors. As Dr.  Anrei Motoc  first entered a clinic in Dubai, he thought he was in a 7 star Hotel.  

In Romania, an experienced specialist doctor earns about 2.000 RON/month ( about 460Euros/month) while in the UAE, in just a few days a doctor can earn up to 7470Euros for just a couple of surgeries performed.

In order to be accepted, the specialist doctors must have at least 10 years’ experience as specialists.”



The year 2012 has brought changes especially regarding the criteria for eligibility!!!

In order to be a suitable candidate you must be a specialist doctor with minimum 3 years’ experience as a specialist and you must be fluent in English.



Starting contracts are for one year, the renewal of the contract is rewarded with a substantial bonus.

Everything in KSA is tax free so people can save the Majority of their Salary.  Availability of buying a car at 50% cost compared to Europe (gasoil 5 € full tank!).

The standard work week in Saudi Arabia is 48 hours. The numbers of hours in a shift vary somewhat from department to department but generally are around 9 hours/day. The standard work week is Saturday through Wednesday.

Other benefits include:

  • Starting salary from 5000 – 7000Euros/Month depending on experience
  • Provision of Furnished Housing
  • Free Medical Coverage
  • Free mobilization and de-mobilization flights to and from point of origin + Annual air ticket to Point of Hire.
  • 30 days of Annual Leave per year ( 2.5 days per month of service, to be utilized by the employee after 6 months of service)
  • 11 Holiday Leave per year ( 5 Days Eid Al Fitr, 5 Days Hajj and 1 Day Saudi National Day)
  • Medical library/ Internet access
  • Availability of on Job training & courses
  • Availability of Promotion & Transfer


For Saudi Arabia we are currently looking for specialist doctors in the following medical fields:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Ophthalmology



Would you consider Saudi Arabia?

You are more than welcome to apply via e-mail:


Thank you!


Friday, February 3rd, 2012


World Cancer Day is marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. It is led by the Union for International Cancer Control, a global consortium of more than 470 cancer-fighting organizations in over 120 countries. World Cancer Day targets the public through global communications, and encourages policy makers and UICC member organizations to make cancer a political priority.

How it started:                

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a leading international non-governmental organization dedicated to the prevention and control of cancer worldwide. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, UICC’s growing membership of over 460 organizations across 120 countries, features the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centers and patient groups. Additionally, the organization is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, a global civil society network that now represents almost 2000 organizations in 170 countries.

UICC also has responsibility for:

– The World Cancer Declaration – a tool that helped bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers in order to significantly reduce the global cancer burden by 2020.

– World Cancer Congress – a biannual event at which the international cancer control community gather to meet, discuss, share, learn and connect in order to find solutions to reduce the impact of cancer on the communities around the world.

Involvement of WHO:

                WHO (World Health Organization) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the specialized cancer agency of WHO, collaborate with other United Nations organizations and partners in the areas of international cancer prevention and control, to increase political commitment for cancer prevention  and control.

What is World Cancer Day:

                WCD is the one singular initiative under which the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. WCD takes place every year on the 4th of February.

It aims to help save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing to governments across the world to take action against the disease.  WCD is therefore the key opportunity for everyone affected by cancer to work together  to ensure that world leaders stich to the promises they made at the UN Summit in relation to reducing the impact of cancer. In particular too:

-          Develop targets and indicators to measure the implementation of policies and approaches to prevent and control cancer.

-          Raise the priority accorded to cancer in the global development agenda.

-          Promote a multispectral response to cancer.

Every month 600.000 people die of cancer and many of these deaths can be avoided with increased governmental support and funding for prevention, detection and treatment programs. Significantly, the number of cancer cases and related deaths worldwide is estimated to double ove the next 20-40 years. With the greatest increase in low and middle income countries, those least equipped to cope with both the social and the economic impact of the disease.


More info’s about the World Cancer Day  

Also here you can sign “The World Cancer Declaration”, a tool meant to bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers in order to significantly reduce the global cancer burden by 2020.


Thank you for fighting cancer!



Arafat and Duta face to face

Friday, January 13th, 2012


Arafat: The new law could provoke a disaster!



The former Romanian Deputy State Secretary Raed Arafat claimed in his interview with the ProTv news that he tried to have a discussion about the new health law with the Prime Minister Emil Boc, but it was refused on grounds that “he is against the competition”.

The debate was attended by CNAS president Lucian Duta.


Summary statements from the videochat:

-          “I am not against competition or against the implementation of a private health system”, said Raed Arafat.

-          Raed Arafat said he requested a meeting with Prime Minister Emil Boc, but was refused on the grounds that he is against competition.

-          The head of CNAS (The National Health Insurance Agency), Lucian Duta, said that the state plans to extend the emergency services in rural areas by implementing the new law.

-          If a private emergency healthcare provider refuses to go to an emergency he will be “kicked out” of the system, said Lucian Duta.

-          Raed Arafat stated that SMURD is already extended to the rural areas and that 43 new teams will be founded and allocated to these areas.

-          Lucian Duta states that “SMURD will keep on the good work.  It is a state service.”

-          The intention of the new state law is to make money for the poor areas of our healthcare, said the head of CNAS.

-          Raed Arafat said that there is no impact study for the new health law.

-          “We are a country that should have symbols,” said Raed Arafat, who argues that children need to understand that doctors deal with emergencies. We are not allowed to sell all of our state services.

-          “SMURD belongs to the stare – the state owns the ambulances, fire departments are also state owned.”

-          There is no study indicating how much money has been invested in SMURD, and its impact in the health system, said the head of CNAS

-          The “SMURD Foundation” is designed to support SMURD with equipment etc…

-          The SMURD Foundation gives money to SMURD but not from the pocket of the state, said Raed Arafat.

-          The 2% that the Romanians donate to the “SMURD Foundation” is transformed into projects for SMURD, projects such as buying equipment, services, etc… said Arafat.

-          Raed Arafat stated that on the SMURD website an audit report will be published in order to dispel any doubt about the amounts that passed through the foundation and how money was spent.

-          “It is possible for us to quarrel for nothing because there is a chance that the private investors may not come,” said Lucian Duta.

-          Custodial services will be reimbursed by the state, stated the head of CNAS.

-          For any emergency there will be sent the nearest ambulance, regardless of the fact that it is private or public owned, added Duta.

-          If the private system will be implemented urgently, the impact could be devastating, the main problem is human resource – there are not enough doctors, said Raed Arafat.

-          “SMURD works on the amount to be, there are no losses and no debts,” said Dr. Arafat.

-          Raed Arafat said that if he would be called to discuss the new law on health, he would gladly go to debate.


Summary statements from the ProTV News at  19:00:  

-          Raed Arafat: “there are no two SMURDS in the country”. The Foundation has no connection with SMURD, it only helps the state service.

-          SMURD was founded by the Romanians, but there must be a catalyst, said Raed Arafat.

-          The debate should be made around all the aspects of the new law, and not just around Dr. Arafat and the SMURD system.

-          The possibility given to private services to access state funds, is the only aspect that is changing the old health law, said Raed Arafat.

-          You cannot integrate a private system with a state system in terms of healthcare, said Arafat.

-          Under-funding of the system is the main problem of the current system, said the head of CNAS, Lucian Duta.

-          The SMURD system cannot be extended because there is not enough money, said Duta.

-          If the new law will be approved, the state budget will have to fund a private emergency system and remove the public one eventually, said Raed Arafat.

-          The Romanian state will continue to take good care of SMURD and the public system, said Lucian Duta.

-          Asked about his relationship with President Traian Basescu, Raed Arafat said that “Mr. Lucian Duta is interposed”. The head of CNAS answered that he never spoke to the head of state about Raed Arafat, adding the fact that Mr. Arafat likes to play “the victim”.

-          The Health system in Romania literally reached a boiling point. Raed Arafat’s departure from the ministry throws the issue of emergency medical service liberalization in a national debate.

-          In a public statement, the president said he does not understand the rage that was created against the new law on health. Especially as, says Traian Basescu, no plans to privatize the public ambulance SMURD have been drawn.

-          “We just want to make the health system more efficient, we don’t want to destroy it,” said Basescu.

-          Meanwhile, the Gorvernment appointed Dr. Andrei Georgescu on the position of secretary of state, in the place of Raed Arafat.

-          The president did not mention even once the name of the former Secretary of State Raed Arafat, the most vehemently opposing the new draft law on health.

-          Changes are managed closely by Prime Minister Boc.


The video interview can be followed here:

Source of the article here:

Mass Resignation of Doctors Cancelled

Monday, January 9th, 2012

A pro-government commentator is relieved by the fact that the government at the very last moment promised significant wage rises for doctors. The doctors had threatened to quit their jobs en masse on January 1.

“The imminent collapse of the Hungarian health care has been averted” – writes Ronald Lippai in Magyar Nemzet.

More than 2,500 Hungarian trainee doctors who earn less than 90,000 Forints (290 Euros) a month threatened to quit their jobs on January 1, 2012, unless the government offers them a significant salary increase.

On December 29, the Undersecretary of Health Miklos Szocska promised that the government would allocate 40 billion Forints to increase their salaries. The Hungarian Trainee Doctors’ Association welcomed the announcement, and put off the planned mass resignation for three months in hope that an agreement with the government will be reached in the meantime.

Lippai contends that the run-down Hungarian health care system can hardly be fixed in a couple of months. He finds it promising, however, that the government has realized the urgency of the problem and offered help in order to avoid the complete breakdown of the service.

As for the young doctors’ unusually harsh threats, he notes that these well-qualified medical professionals are fully aware that they could easily get well-paid jobs in Western-European countries. But they would prefer to work in Hungary and earn a living without accepting tips, which is rather widespread in the state-run healthcare system.

All in all, Lippai hopes that the three month deadline will be enough to find an agreement which would not only be beneficial for the young doctors, but also essential for the viability of the Hungarian health care system.


Source of the article here: