As mentioned in our previous articles about the â€œBrain Drainâ€, it is not uncommon for wealthier countries to attract doctors from abroad in order to solve its doctor shortage. Although this practice is considered by some as an unethical short term solution, you canâ€™t blame the individuals that seek better paying jobs, better working conditions, better quality of life and better social and economic environments for them and their families.
Sweden, as an economic and social European magnet, is attracting an increasing number of physicians from abroad. Almost every other new medical license is granted to someone who was educated abroad.
According to the World Health Organization, the brain drain of doctors to rich countries is threatening to cause the collapse of healthcare systems in poor countries. Such a perception of the situation can be considered short-sighted, due to the fact that the global medical tourism phenomenon is constantly rising and the development of private health systems in less developed countries are starting to take over the public systemâ€™s short comings.
In 2007, 1.400 foreign physicians received medical licenses in Sweden â€“ the equivalent of 60% of all new licenses granted that year. At the same time there is a considerable shortage of doctors in poor countries, but many countries such as France and Germany continue recruiting doctors from abroad.
â€œItâ€™s a form of neo-colonialism,â€ stated Eva Nilsson BÃ¥genholm, head of the Swedish Medical Association.
Many Swedes also choose to study medicine abroad. Every third Swedish medical student studies abroad, stated the head of the Swedish Medical Students Union Yosef Tyson.
Many swedes attend medical school in Denmark, which has led Helge Sander, Danish Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, to petition Sweden to increase its number of study places.