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Improving access of foreign doctors on the Romanian labour market

In Romania, physicians coming from third countries can exercise their profession only if they are married to Romanian/EU citizen or if they hold a long-term residence permit in Romania/other EU country. This topic was discussed at round table organized on 26th October in Bucharest by the Coalition for Migrants and Refugees Rights (CDMiR) established as part of the NIEM project.

Given the rising asylum rates that Romania has experienced in the past year, this problem is encountered by more and more beneficiaries of international protection who choose to continue their medical residency training in Romania or who have graduated and previously worked as physicians in their countries of origin and wish to do so in Romania. 

The event was attended by officials from the Romanian Government, the College of Physicians, the General Inspectorate for Immigration, along with representatives from non-governmental organizations and international organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as health and academic specialists.

The debate started with a discussion on the staff shortages faced by the  Romanian public healthcare system as a result of the emigration of doctors and medical studies graduates abroad. In this context, the representative of the CDMiR presentedthe advocacy proposal aimed to harmonize specific regulations of the College of Physicians with the asylum and migration legislation  in order to facilitate the access on the Romanian labour market for this category of physicians.

Ms. Ramona Lohan, State Councilor of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Refugee Integration, a governmental coalition created by the Prime Minister in 2015, mentioned comes at a right moment as the Committee is preparing to meet after more than a year break and the CDMiR’s proposal will be debated and analyzed in with the line ministries in order to find a solution. Police Commissioner Ionuţ Cîrdei of the General Inspectorate for Immigration also considered the CDMiR’s proposals pertinent and stated that the Inspectorate of Immigration is welcoming any proposals meant to improve the integration of their persons of interest.

The representative of the College of Physicians expressed skepticism concerning the possibility to implement immediately a change of policies, but confirmed the intention to continue the collaboration both with the CDMiR, as well as relevant public authorities, in order to identify a sustainable solution to the presented problem.

Another aspect discussed during the meeting was the unfortunate omission of the stateless persons from the categories of physicians who can practice as a doctor in Romania. In conclusion all the participants agreed that the discussions must be continued and the CDMiR must continue its advocacy efforts on the subject.