Non-EU Doctors Want to Help Slovakia, But Legislation Prevents This

23. februára 2021 13:36
Bratislava, February 18 (TASR) - Medical professionals from outside of the EU are willing to help Slovakia's health-care sector in the current pandemic, but they're encountering several legislative hurdles, the International Association of Doctors in Slovakia (MALnS) told a news conference held on Tuesday. The press conference was held in the presence of head of the parliamentary health committee chair Jana Bitto Ciganikova (SaS) and committee member Andrea Letanovska (For the People), who expressed their political support. MALnS chairman Manuchekhr Burkhanov pointed to the fact that while the Government has activated the EU's civil protection mechanism, thanks to which doctors from Poland and Austria should come to help Slovakia, it would be enough to accept the presence and education of dozens of health-care professionals from third countries. "They have their diplomas recognised; several of them have passed the necessary exams, while some of them are still waiting for the results. Most of them have been living in Slovakia," he said. Alona Kurotova of MALnS said that it's difficult for doctors from third countries to meet several bureaucratic requirements during the lockdown. She would see sense, for example, in them undergoing a residential programme in which health-care professionals from third countries can't participate due to the requirement of permanent residence. Coalition MP Bitto Ciganikova stressed that Slovakia wouldn't help only foreign medical professionals by facilitating their access to the Slovak labour market; it would also help itself. She noted that a working group has already been formed to deal with these issues. "We all realise that we should act quickly, as foreign doctors could help us especially in the pandemic, but also can do so in the future," she said. Along with Letanovska, Bitto Ciganikova stressed that this isn't about downgrading the quality of Slovakia's health care, but about removing a bureaucratic burden. Letanovska stated that Slovakia has been suffering from a lack of health-care staff for a long time, not only during the coronavirus crisis. "I think that doctors from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are close to us, and it's quite easy for them to learn the language," she added. ko/df
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