Edition 1472
28 April 2018
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More than half of Portugal’s junior doctors want to emigrate as school pupils dwindle

in News · 14-12-2017 12:49:00 · 0 Comments

It seems Portugal could be facing something of a crisis when it comes to future professionals, as over half of fledgling doctors in the north have said they would like to emigrate once they become specialists, coupled with the fact that the country is suffering an overall drop in the number of pupils in schools.

More than half of Portugal’s junior doctors want to emigrate as school pupils dwindle

The first in-depth, widespread survey to be conducted in Portugal into the careers of young doctors found that many of them are unhappy
with exhaustingly long shifts, poor working
conditions, and a lack of career prospects.
The survey, carried out in northern Portugal, is soon to be extended to the rest of the country.
This snapshot of young doctors’ views on their futures in Portugal also found that more than half of them intend to emigrate once they have completed their specialisation placements. The one area where almost all said they were happy was in their relationships with their colleagues.
Over one thousand doctors have left Portugal over the past three years.
The survey was carried out among three distinct groups of doctors, 2,283 doctors in total, in northern Portugal: specialists, young doctors, and those who have already left public services.
It was among the youngest doctors, however, that the biggest feelings of discontent were voiced.
Around four in every ten of the National Health Service’s young medics said they hoped to leave the SNS after specialising, and half of them said they would look at emigrating and practicing abroad.
Only one in ten young doctors said they would definitely continue with the SNS, and that no amount of money would tempt them overseas.
Marianela Ferreira, of Porto University’s Public Health Institute, who carried out the research in cooperation with the Northern Region health board, said: “There is a mismatch between the functioning of the SNS and the needs and expectations of doctors, who are its most valuable asset”, and added, “there have been no incentives to retain doctors, the SNS has not been competitive.”
Despite the efforts that go in to attaining a medical degree, a doctor in Portugal earns less then magistrates or university lecturers; around half of the doctors surveyed said they earned less than €3,000 before tax.
Only 7.9 percent of the respondents were on wages upwards of €5,000.
Marinela Ferreira summarises: “They are facing a huge dilemma between the will to be doctors and the will to leave the SNS due to poor conditions.”
Meanwhile, it seems Portugal’s recent ‘brain drain’, which peaked circa 2014 following the financial crisis and from which the country is only just starting to recover, could face further tribulations in years to come, as it has emerged the country’s school population is dwindling.
Estimates following a study by the National Education Committee are that Portugal is on track to lose around 6,000 students from its junior schools every year, which blames the trend on a decreasing resident population and, says will continue at least until 2020.
A study by the committee also found that Portugal is a big user of the retention system and that in 2015 more than 30 percent of pupils had flunked a year at least once.

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Edition 1472
28 April 2018
Edition: 1472

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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