Is immigration the only option for many Belarusian doctors?

Monument to Zemakh Shabad, or Vilnius doctor Aibolit /
Monument to Zemakh Shabad, or Vilnius doctor Aibolit /

In mid-August 2022, Euroradio published an article about how Belarusian doctors are trying to negotiate with the Polish Ministry to simplify the procedure for recognition of professional diplomas for employment. Despite all efforts and the lack of their own specialists, neither correspondence with government agencies nor the help of lawyers could really solve this problem.

"Unfortunately, in all countries it is more difficult for medical professionals to prove their diploma and start working in their profession than for people of other specialties," says Lidziya Tarasenka, coordinator of the Medical Solidarity Foundation of Belarus. "There is absolutely no reason to hope that countries will begin to change the established procedures for language or professional exams for the sake of Belarusians. In each country, they want to make sure that the visiting doctor has the necessary qualifications and knowledge and will not expose patients to additional danger. Therefore, requests to simplify the exams sound, at least, not serious".

The procedure of confirming medical diplomas is really complicated, but unavoidable. Nevertheless, thousands of Belarusian doctors are leaving the country and trying to find new jobs. By the end of the summer, the fund predicts another exodus of specialists - at that time, the contracts of those who work for the government will expire.

In an interview with Euroradio, Lidziya Tarasenka spoke about what you need to be prepared for when you move into another country, who you can rely on there, and how you can help yourself while you are still in Belarus.

В сентябре медиков в Беларуси станет ещё меньше. Эмиграция — это выход?
Lidziya Tarasenka / Photo by Marta-Darya Klinava for

Lidziya Tarasenka: First of all, you need to know the language of the country you have moved to or are planning to move to. It should be at a good level, considering that you will need to communicate with patients. This communication should not cause additional discomfort to the patient. No one talks about the absence of an accent, but it will take a lot of time to learn the language. And, of course, there are medical exams.

There are several ways out of this situation. The Belarusian diaspora, which has become huge in recent years, helps a lot, especially in neighboring Poland. A person will not left alone with their problems - at least they will get help.

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