Belgium faces shortage of family doctors

26th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

26 July 2006, BRUSSELS — There is a shortage of medicine graduates opting to become family doctors in Belgium.

26 July 2006

BRUSSELS — There is a shortage of medicine graduates opting to become family doctors in Belgium.

Last year, just 94 of Flanders' 373 medicine graduates decided to become a GP, opting instead to train to become higher-paid specialists.

The trend is raising concerns, given the fact 180 new GPs are needed according to agreed guidelines entered into in the 1990s.

Those guidelines also stated that 240 specialists were needed, giving an intended total of 420 graduating medicine students each year.

But due to the fact just 373 students graduated last year and fewer graduates are opting to work as GP, a shortage of family doctors is at threat.

Specialists earn three times as much as GPs in Belgium and many doctors also feel it's increasingly hard to juggle the commitments of a GP with those of a family.

Health Minister Rudy Demotte has tried to make the profession of GP more attractive by raising fees and offering support to joint surgeries. However, the measures have not convinced students.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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