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What Salaries Are Paid to Doctors in Russia, Ukraine... and Elsewhere in the World?
By definition, the doctor is one of the most respectable professions in any society. Respectable, but not always and everywhere adequately paid and, as a result, appreciated by the government. How are medical practitioners doing in the CIS area and should they envy their foreign colleagues - the subject of another analysis carried out by experts of the Masterforex-V Trading Academy.
Salaries of Doctors in CIS
Russia and Moscow. There are over 600,000 doctors working in Russia - it is one of the highest per capita figures (there are about 800,000 doctors in the US with a population more than double of that in Russia). So, per one doctor, there are:
* 199 patients in Russia;
* 294 people in France;
* 238 people in Belgium;
* 1,246 people in Belarus.
How much is work of Russian doctors priced by the society? Experts took into consideration only official salaries, other than unofficial bonuses received in envelopes and patients' 'gratitude', increments for scientific degrees etc. Just a few facts:
• average salary of medical workers is RUR 26,000, or about USD 800. However, this is the average medical salary which also includes sky-high salaries of organizing doctors and officials directly unrelated to treatment. The minimum wage of Russian practitioners is much lower. Based on data from the Russian Bureau of Statistics, the minimum wage in Russia is RUR 13,200 (against the average wage of RUR 18,300 nationwide and RUR 35,600 in Moscow), i.e. it is more than 25% below 'the average temperature at hospital'.
• the doctor's profession hasn't left TOP-10 least paid professions in the country for a few recent years (worse positions include only medical nurses, salespeople, secretaries and street cleaners). To get more, doctors have to work 1.5-2 of full-time capacity, have additional jobs etc. Russian doctors have no time left for further training or self-education because of increased loads.
• there is a huge perceived lack of doctors in the country, about 30%, even though tens of thousands of doctors graduate from medical universities every year. Doctors opt for other areas of activity or get retrained as pharmacists on a large scale.
• private medicine where doctor salaries can be higher by one order of magnitude that in public clinics is not popular in Russia and provides services to a small category of the population.
• according to RBK.Rating, the most widespread vacancies on specialized HR websites include dentists (the average wage offer is USD 1,500-1,800), therapeutists (USD 800-1,100), psychotherapeutists (USD 1,000-1,300), pediatricians (USD 1,000-1,300) (the average wage offer wasn't divided into public and private medical institutions). General Director of HeadHunter recruitment company, M. Zhukov, believes that the situation with incomes of Russian and American doctors is 'absolutely opposite' in 95% of the cases.
If this approach persists, in the opinion of our expert, Head of the US and Canada Land Association, Rasul Zhelalov (candidate of medicine), the country is threatened with the collapse of public medical aid in the near future. T. Golikova, the Minister of Health and Social Development, says that the national project of Zdorovye ('Health') is obviously stalled, especially in such areas as combating cardiovascular diseases (the main reason for Russian death rates), oncology, emergency etc.
No wonder that life expectancy in Russia is 20 years shorter than in developed countries.
Ukraine. The position of Ukrainian doctors in the public health care system is worse than that of their Russian or Belarusian colleagues. According to data from the State Committee of Statistics, the average wage of Ukrainian doctors is USD 294. After the basic salary was recently increased for budget-funded occupations, the top-category therapeutist got their salary increased by UAH 125 (USD 15).
How does the Ukrainian doctor make both ends meet if:
• Ukraine has never spent more than 3% of the state budget on health care (same provisions are made for 2011).
• the basic salary of a district therapeutist is up to UAH 1,000 (USD 125). Of course, the salary is increased by increments for harmful conditions, category, medical degree, teaching. For example, a top-category anesthesiologist who has a medical degree of a candidate and teaches as an associate professor at a university's department can get USD 375-440.
• an experienced doctor of emergency care and cardiac surgeon of N. Amosov Institute in Kiev get USD 250-340 (like a security officer at a supermarket or a doorkeeper at a prestigious hotel).
• actual salaries of practicing doctors are USD 199 or 30% lower than the official level.
• shortage of doctors in Ukraine is 46,000 specialists. Public health care becomes 6,000 doctors short every year as they get retrained or emigrate. 40% of the active medical personnel is retirees.
A visa-free regime that can be introduced with the European Union will trigger a large-scale flight of medical personnel from the country and a collapse of the public health care system.
Belarus. Ukrainian doctors envy their northern colleagues whose average medical salary is over USD 300. However, Belorussian doctors themselves are not happy with their position and look at their luckier neighbors - Russia ($800), Lithuania (€700-800), and Poland ($1,500).
The majority of Belorussian doctors believe that the state undervalues their work:
• the hourly rate for the Belorussian doctor is USD 2-3 which is less than in industry, construction and other sectors;
• in terms of their wage, health care personnel are positioned fourth from the bottom coming ahead of only education, agriculture and social security workers.
• in 2009 health care wages was only 68.2% of industrial wages (whereas this figure was 82% in 2005).
• shortage of personnel - the country lacks about 4,000 doctors and 5,000 junior medical workers. Health care loses at least 800 specialists every year.
Belarus cannot expect a visa-free regime with the EU in the near future, but local doctors leave abroad whenever there is an opportunity. Poland, Finland and Sweden are countries most popular among Belorussian doctors.
What salaries do US and EU doctors have?
USA. Doctors are real kings in America. Forbes TOP-10 best-paid professions include nine types of doctors. Doctors have taken up eight places in the top ten of best-paid professions of the equally respectable PayScale rating. The surgeon and anesthesiologist are best-paid professions in the US as they bring in USD 16,000-17,000 a month:
• family doctors (USD 14,500 a month), pediatricians (USD 15,000), therapeutists (USD 15,900) are worst paid medical specialists in the US;
• high-grade doctors make much more: orthopedic surgeons up to USD 43,000, urologists - up to USD 33,000.
What do US doctors have apart from salaries?
• social benefits;
• medical insurance benefits;
• payment for hotels, conferences, business trips etc;
• fees for publication of scientific articles, participation in conferences;
One in four American doctors has been educated outside the USA. Despite myths that diplomas issued by medical universities of CIS countries are not valid in America, American laws recognize diplomas of all countries that are members of the World Health Organization. You only need to pass a test to maintain your qualification as a doctor and your command of English.
The European Union. The doctor's profession in EU countries is respectable and equally well-paid. For example, in Great Britain district doctors are paid more than the Prime Minister. Of course, there is a reservation - the size of wages inside the European Union varies to a great degree - between 'old' members of the community and countries that recently became part of the EU (countries of Eastern Europe and Balkans).
Where do doctors have most favorable working conditions?
Doctors are also humans and look for a better place:
* doctors from the post-Soviet arena go to neighboring East-European countries - Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and farther - to the US, Australia, Africa. Over 20,000 doctors from ex-USSR are employed in Europe and US alone:
• Czech doctors are unhappy about their salary cuts and leave for Germany, France, the US and Asian countries on a large scale. About 3,500 doctors have left the country in recent months;
• Rumanians make up 60% of foreign doctors practicing in France while there is obvious lack of specialists in Romania itself: the country has almost a 50% lack of anesthesiologists. According to official statistics, over 8,500 medical workers have left Romania since 2007. Romania holds the 1st place in the EU in terms of doctor emigration and is followed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland;
• medical practice in the European Union attracts CIS specialists not only by high salaries but also by an opportunity to obtain the European citizenship and career prospects.
• Libya is no Europe but also calls for qualified doctors offering Ukrainian specialists from USD 1,000 in usual clinics and up to USD 2,000 in educational centers.
• The overall lack of doctors in Europe is about 150,000 people and over 2 million worldwide. A reasonable question can be raised: is there any future for health care in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries in the current situation when there is lack of qualified medical vacancies globally, while domestic medical workers are paid chicken feed?