Where do doctors come from

Every eighth doctor comes from abroad : More and more immigrant medical professionals

Without foreign doctors, nothing would work in Germany's hospitals and medical practices. Last year their number rose again by 7.3 percent. This means that one in eight practitioners in this country now comes from another country. In total, there are now 48,672 foreign doctors in patient care in Germany - almost three times as many as ten years ago. And if you add the number of doctors who are still recognized, it is almost 55,000.

Most of them come from Romania

The information comes from current statistics from the German Medical Association, which was published on Friday. Accordingly, the number of immigrant doctors grew by around 3,500 in 2018. Most of the working foreign doctors come from Romania (4,312) and Syria (3908), followed by Greece (2,776) and Austria (2309). Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Libya and Iran are also well represented. Most foreign doctors work in clinics, but their number is also growing in outpatient practices.

In 1941, however, there were doctors who moved abroad. Switzerland is the most popular; last year alone it attracted 590 German doctors. 254 left to Austria and 105 to the USA. Great Britain, which was previously popular among doctors, only had 59 emigrants from Germany, probably because of the Brexit plans.

More and more doctors - and more doctors employed

In total, the statisticians came to 392,402 working doctors for the past year - an increase of 1.9 percent compared to 2017. The proportion of women has continued to grow, it is now 47.2 percent. What is particularly noticeable, however, is the increase in the number of salaried doctors working on outpatients: their number grew by 10.6 percent to around 40,000. In contrast, the number of self-employed doctors in private practice fell slightly - by 0.7 percent to 117,472.

The President of the German Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, sees this development as a problem. After all, employed doctors usually have fewer hours than the practice owners, and female doctors also work more often part-time. “The number of heads is increasing,” says Montgomery. "But it is not rising fast enough to cover the growing need for treatment." That could not compensate for immigration from abroad either.

Medical president calls for more study places

If politicians do not finally create more study places in human medicine, demographic change will lead to significant supply bottlenecks, warned the medical president. "The population in Germany is one of the oldest in the world, and it is getting older. It is obvious that the need for treatment is growing." In the winter semester of 1990/1991, the number of students was still more than 95,000 In the 2015/2016 winter semester there were fewer than 90,000.

The federal and state governments had "cheated their way through for years and relied on the doctors to fix it." It is right, according to Montgomery, "that the young doctors no longer play this game and are no longer ready to go beyond their limits".

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