Austrian Medical Chamber warns of doctor shortage

December 12, 2014 9:50 am 

VIENNA, Dec 11 — The Austrian Medical Chamber on Wednesday warned of the danger of a doctor shortage following a survey of foreign medicine graduates at Austrian universities that showed the majority do not plan to stay in the country.

Minister of Science Reinhold Mitterlehner revealed during parliament that 79 percent of German medicine graduates said they plan to leave Austria upon graduation, while 56 percent of the remaining graduates of foreign origin also plan to leave.

The figures are an "alarming sign" that come on the back of warnings of doctor shortages that have existed for some time, president of the Medical Chamber in Vienna Thomas Szekeres said.

The main problems in preventing graduates from staying are a lack of post-doctoral training, lack of career models, as well as excessive red tape, said Szekeres.

This bureaucracy must be reduced quickly through the widespread introduction of administrative assistants attractive work models for hospital doctors, as well as modern, performance-based fee schemes for registered doctors, he added.

Since 2006, Austria has had a quota system where 75 percent of medicine and dentistry student places at universities are reserved for Austrian high school graduates, 20 percent for other EU citizens, and 5 percent for people from non-EU countries. (PNA/Xinhua)

CMR/JSD

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