Minister promises to regulate foreign doctors
Health and Labor Minister Rannar Vassiljev said he will come out with proposals on how to regulate the growing number of medical doctors from outside the EU, who are working in Estonia.
The Ida-Viru central hospital employs 160 doctors, of whom a fifth are from other former Soviet Union states, and most have arrived in recent years, Postimees reported.
Tarmo Bakler, the CEO of the hospital, said they have received more doctors from outside the EU than from the University of Tartu, which has Estonia's biggest medical school.
Bakler said foreign doctors in Estonia are partially unregulated, which gives way to different interpretations of existent laws.
Currently, foreign doctors have to have completed a three-year residency period. Doctors in Russia must only complete a one year program in Russia, before receiving their medical licenses. That has hindered some from coming to work in Estonia, but the requirement can be substituted for an exam at the University of Tartu, or for work experience.