Ida-Viru Central Hospital, in the Northeastern Estonian industrial city of Kohtla-Järve, is seeking to hire personnel from other countries including Latvia as Estonia's own health professionals flock to Finland and Sweden for higher wages, Latvian Public Broadcasting (LSM) reported.
Northeastern Estonia's primary hospital currently employs 40 health professionals from other countries, primarily from Ukraine, Russia and Moldova.
"We're not looking only at Latvia," said hospital CEO Tarmo Bakler. "Doctors can work everywhere now. We can't say that we'd like to hire a gynecologist or radiologist from Latvia, but our hospital is ready to admit doctors from all these specialties. Of course, it all depends on the experience and the doctor themselves."
The hospital is planning on establishing a new therapy building. The current one includes 300 beds, and the hospital offers both emergency treatment as well as scheduled procedures.
"We have a competitive environment," Bakler noted. "Our wages are highest in the Baltics."
As of April 1, nurses at Ida-Viru Central Hospital will earn a net monthly salary of at least €900, while doctors will earn at least €1,600. But wages are significantly higher for better-qualified specialists.
According to data available from the Latvian Ministry of Health, Latvian doctors are currently earning gross monthly salaries of at least €1,132, while nurses earn at least €996.
While Kohtla-Järve currently does not employ any Latvian doctors, three Latvian doctors are working at Valga Hospital on th Estonian-Latvian border.
Editor: Aili Vahtla