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The doctors of the Middle East, of the Maghreb region and of Eastern Europe are emigrating to Europe



Syrians, Lebanese, Moroccans, Romanians...who are these doctors who decide to pack up and go and practise in Europe? What is it that motivates them? How can the countries witnessing this brain drain take advantage of this expatriation? The Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Institutes of Economic Sciences (FEMISE) provides answers to these questions in its newly published research report no FEM34-07.



Ahmed Driouchi, Professor of Economics at Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, and author of the FEMISE report. (Photo D.R)
Ahmed Driouchi, Professor of Economics at Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, and author of the FEMISE report. (Photo D.R)
The lure of a better life, satisfactory living conditions, a good salary, a well-developed education system, proximity to the country of origin...there are many factors that can motivate doctors from the Middle East, the Maghreb region and Eastern Europe to practise medicine in Europe. “Applicants are initially attracted by the relative advantages offered by the countries of the European Union. Earning more allows them to be comfortable and to live better. One must also consider the non-monetary benefits, the opportunity to grow professionally and build a career,” stresses Ahmed Driouchi, Professor of Economics at Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, and author of the FEMISE report.
 
Entitled “What do we learn from the new economy of emigration of medical doctors to the EU: the case of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa,” the FEMISE study points to a two-tier system of migration.
 
The doctors from the Middle East and the Maghreb region do not often benefit from a system of equivalence. On arrival in Europe they might occupy junior positions while waiting to obtain equivalences and take admission tests. Entry of Eastern European countries into the European Union between 2002 and 2007 increased the scope for mobility by ensuring the transferability of the qualifications of health professionals. This recognition of the qualifications of doctors, dentists, nurses and other health professionals encourages emigration.
 


Romanian doctors are settling in most of the regions of France

It is for this reason that Romanian doctors are settling in most of the regions of France. Very often doctors from the French-speaking countries opt for France or Belgium. Their English-speaking counterparts are more attracted to Britain. After a period of adaptation their intellectual abilities allow them to integrate.
 
The emigration rates of doctors are very high in Lebanon (19.6%) and Syria (17.5%). In Jordan they are as high as 9.9%, in Algeria 7.1%, in Morocco 6.6%, and in Egypt 5.6%. Morocco has also been the subject of an in-depth study. Over the 400 pages of the study the FEMISE researchers explain that there is a migration threshold for each country which should not be exceeded to avoid the pitfall of a brain drain.
 
We questioned the Moroccan doctors who chose to remain in their country. The study confirms behavioural variables. Everything depends on the personal circumstances of individuals and on their strategy. The empirical model shows the relative advantages of the destination countries,” concludes Professor Ahmed Driouchi.

Nathalie Bureau du Colombier


Tuesday, October 9th 2012



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