21 January 2018, Sunday, 7:31

Belarusian doctors flee even to Africa


The state with the centralised system of government cannot solve the problem of personnel deficit and low wages.

Andrei Stryzhak, a coordinator of the youth network of the electronic industry trade union, spoke to charter97.org about staff shortage in Minsk.

“In market economy conditions, to which we are moving in spite of constant talks about socialism with a human face, labour is a product that looks for a place to sell itself at a higher price. People go to the places where that earn more. So it occurs that we have staff shortage in such sectors as construction, healthcare and state administration bodies,” the trade union activist says.

According to him, many doctors leave for western countries.

“As far as I know, many go to Africa under employment agreements. They are trauma surgeons, orthopedists and surgeons. They receive more money there. As for the Vitebsk region, doctors go to work in the Smolensk Oblast (Russia) in their free time, for example at weekends. They can earn almost a half of their monthly wage for two days. What concerns the government bodies, we see a sharp decline of prestige of civil service because the wages are not high but responsibility is great. Turnover of employees is extremely high even in such seemingly prestigious places as the Ministry of Economy,” Andrei Stryzhak says.

He adds that the state may create migration barriers for those wanting to come to vacant positions.

“Look at Moscow: Moscow locals do not want to work as street cleaners, so Tajiks immediately replaced them. We also can face this situation. If we ask why the state cannot create good conditions for teachers and doctors, the reason is the state funds. Expenses on teachers and doctors are a big part of the state budget. Speaking globally, it is a question to our system, because, for example, in Poland the education problem was solved on the local level, on the level of gminas (the smallest administrative unit in Poland – charter97.org). For instance, Eastern Poland made big investments in education, so the level of education is very good there. If people really have power and local government, these problems will be solved. We will continue to suffer from problems, for example, no decent wages for teachers as long as the system of centralised government works.

We remind that Minsk's employment agencies complain about lack of staff.