Without constant recruiting of foreign doctors East Germany would have no sustainable medical care. Although the Federal Chamber of Physicians is not considering it permanent solution, Saxony, Thuringia and Co. go on promotional tours in countries such as Austria, Hungary, Poland, etc. in order to attract foreign doctors.
If the television series â€œA Country Doctorâ€ did not exist, it would have had to be invented for this place. The town Waldheim is a province in the best sense, idyllically situated on the river Zschopau, located right between Chemnitz, Dresden and Leipzig. The houses around the square beam freshly renovated, the town hall along with its tower lights in the sun, and diagonally across the street on a two-story house is a brass plate: â€œDr. Peter Laub MD, specialist in general medicine.â€
â€œIt was love at first sight between me and this placeâ€, says Dr. Laub. A year ago I took over the practice here in Waldheim Niedermarkt, after moving here from Hungary at the age of 39. The fact that he is from Hungary is easy to notice from his accent and from all the Hungarian professional books on his desk. Practice is of course entirely in German. â€œIâ€™m getting better with each passing day,â€ he says proudly. Laub is a stocky, jovial man who pursues his work in jeans and a blue shirt, but by wearing a stethoscope around the neck he makes it clear whoâ€™s the doctor.
Laub grew up in Budapest, where he studied medicine and worked at the university hospital as a pediatrician, and six years in his own practice. But the city became too much, it was loud and hectic, and the stress added by the madness of the Hungarian health system had to end: â€œThe bureaucracy is worse than here, you get no help, but penalties are immediate if we cross over the budgetâ€. In school, Laub learned German and English, and he really wanted to follow a colleague to Great Britain, just as a agency invited him to a roud trip to Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony.
They looked at medical practices that sought an urgent successor, and as Laub and his wife Waldheim saw, they quickly knew that they wanted to stay: â€œWe immediately decided!â€ His predecessor had been there for years, unsuccessfully looking for a successor and continued to practice despite age and health problems. It took half a year, until Laub had all his permits and approvals for Germany. After that he moved with his wife and three children from Budapest to Waldheim. The next day there was a grand opening celebration, attended by the mayor, fellow doctors, directors of the surrounding hospitals and of course the patients.
Dr. Peter Laub: â€œHIER WERDE ICH GLEICH ALS ARZT WAHRGENOMMEN â€“ HERE I AM IMMEDIATLY PERCIVED AS A DOCTORâ€