Despite Brexit, Croatian Physicians Invited to Move to UK

By 26 April 2019

Permanent contracts, annual salaries ranging from 70,000 to 90,000 pounds, free English language courses, assistance with resettlement and finding a new home, kindergarten, school, bank account opening... – this is the offer which the Paragona agency from Poland has given to Croatian family doctors, inviting them to move to Great Britain despite Brexit, reports Večernji List on April 26, 2019.

They have been invited by the British National Health Service (NHS), the key health institution in the country, which has hired the Polish agency to help them bring family physicians from EU countries.

It has been known for years that Britain, as well as a number of other Western countries, does not have enough physicians. NHS's solution is to import doctors from other countries, which is the reason why they have launched this last drive to bring in family physicians. The number of physicians from all EU countries who can come and compete for jobs is not limited.

The contest will be open permanently until the need for the medical staff is met. In its statement, the NHS says that, regardless of Brexit, there will still be a need for excellent family physicians from Europe. In order to promote the competition and its conditions, the Polish agency’s representatives will visit Croatia next month, says Vikica Krolo, president of the Croatian Family Medicine Coordination (KOHOM).

“KOHOM wants as many of our physicians as possible to stay here, but this sounds very appealing, and it is an opportunity for people to go to a well-organised state for a well-paid job. We concessionaires are more or less retiring in five to ten years, so I am not interested, but I know how this sounds to younger doctors. People have been informed, they have received invitations, which have been shared on social networks and forums. We educate physicians who then leave to work in other countries. The world is open, and this call demonstrates it,” says Krolo, who is a family physician herself, adding that the number of her colleagues has been decreasing in the last few years and is now around 2,100.

The work of family physicians in the UK differs from the Croatian system. The key difference is in diagnosis segment and treatment of all age groups, as well as the fact that nurses do some of the medical jobs which are done exclusively by doctors in many other European countries.

Family medicine offices in Great Britain are equipped for smaller surgeries, which are usually done in hospitals in other European countries, including Croatia. Referrals to specialists are very strictly limited to cases when this is a real need because a family physician does not have the necessary equipment or the patient has a serious condition. Family doctors in Great Britain also deal with the health of children and mothers, prevention and rehabilitation. “We would all be happy to do this as well,” adds Krolo.

The agency hired for recruiting physicians has already successfully completed a pilot project and has placed family physicians from Europe to various parts of the United Kingdom.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Ivana Rimac Lesički).

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