ATHENS – Over 20,000 doctors have left Greece in the last decade, and each one’s education cost the state and their families nearly 350,000 euros, Athens Medical Association president and Attica Region director Giorgos Patoulis said on Tuesday.
In an address to the 2nd congress on “Health above all” (Ygeia pano ap’ ola) held in Athens, Patoulis spoke of the great brain drain that cost Greece over 400,000 highly skilled professionals starting in 2010.
Besides the repercussions in the health system, he said, the migration of medical personnel cost the coutry in other ways also. “Greece invested over 7 billion euros in recent years for its scientists who are now being utilized by the health systems of other countries. In other words, it essentially divested itself of a significant capital in which it could have invested and which could have produced added value,” he noted.
As a solution, he proposed that Greece develops medical tourism for global patients. “We do not just want to stem the migration of scientists, but we want to attract other doctors here, through a developmental process,” he underlined.