Visolajsky: Bill for Doctors’ Education Would Only Boost Exodus

Doctors Trade Union Association (LOZ) chairman Peter Visolajsky. (Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 19 (TASR) – Medicine graduates are leaving Slovakia because they can hardly find vacant jobs in Slovakia, as hospitals with their current funding prefer to be frugal with staff, while there’s also a lack of experienced doctors to teach their young colleagues, said Doctors Trade Union Association (LOZ) chairman Peter Visolajsky on Sunday.

Visolajsky was reacting to the complaints of former prime minister and leader of the strongest governing party Smer-SD Robert Fico’s at his party’s programme conference on Saturday. Fico stated that many doctors educated in Slovakia leave for abroad after graduating. In response to a growing lack of doctors in Slovakia, Fico proposed that young doctors should be given two options – either to pay off a bill equalling around €50,000-55,000 after graduating or to stay in Slovakia for at least ten years.

“We must realise that threats and insults won’t keep Slovak doctors in Slovakia,” said Visolajsky, adding that the roots of the problem are elsewhere. This includes the way in which medical schools in Slovakia are funded, which allows them to accept foreign students at the expense of Slovaks. In addition, if Fico’s measure is introduced, this will motivate even more Slovak wannabe doctors to study in the Czech Republic, which will exacerbate the lack of doctors in Slovakia, stressed Visolajsky.

“The Czech Republic has calculated that it will earn if a Slovak comes to study at one of its universities – even if the student returns to Slovakia after graduating,” said Visolajsky, adding that this applies even more to Slovaks who decide to stay in the Czech Republic.