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Reader feedback: Value doctors

Re: Hundreds of Slovak doctors seek jobs abroad, Flash News, March 30, 2005

I think it is unfair to say that a doctor who does care about medicine and helping people in Slovakia is necessarily selfish if he or she wants to do so for more money, in better facilities, and with more of an opportunity to improve and update skills.

This must also be considered when viewing the choice to leave.

Money represents a lot of things: security, opportunity and growth.

If they stay in Slovakia, then doctors might find themselves out of work later on. Who's going to protect them - the government, the people who think they earn enough already?

I remember meeting a lot of my Slovak friend's parents who believed in the "we'll be protected" yarn shovelled at them by Communists, people who were completely blown away by the reality after 1989.

There have been premonitions of the eminent "brain drain" to befall Slovakia since the first talk about entering the EU. Doctors are usually among the first to go in these situations. Personally, I don't blame them. They didn't create the economic situation that the country is in.

Opportunities come along only a few times in life. Doctors, like educators and even common labourers, make similar choices all the time when the chance to improve a standard of living presents itself.

Does the Hippocratic oath necessitate that doctors forego their chance for personal growth and opportunity? I hope not. I don't see why they should have any less right to be happy and to take chances as anyone else.

This situation is a calling card for people to value doctors in the same way they are valued elsewhere. At the same time, it is a call for people to value themselves as well.

Phillip Sanchez,
Manila, Philippines

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