Greece lost over 400,000 health professionals to overseas countries in the brain drain of the last decade said Athens Medical Association president Dr. Giorgos Patoulis.
Speaking at the 2nd congress on "Health above all" (Ygeia pano ap' ola) held in Athens, Patoulis said 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, adding that the great brain drain cost Greece over 400,000 highly skilled professionals.
Besides the repercussions in the health system, he said, the migration of medical personnel cost the country 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