Public Private Doctor Salary Gap in Romania 2008

Doctors can earn over Euro 20,000 per month in private clinics
Ziarul Financiar, January 24, 2008

An experienced doctor who has a good reputation and works in a private clinic or hospital earns approximately 5,000-8,000 euros per month, and may under exceptional circumstances earn as much as a net amount of over 20,000 euros per month.

“There are at least 20 doctors in Bucharest that earn more than 20,000 euros per month. This is made possible by the fact that very good doctors get a cut of the revenues,” says Cristian Sas, head of the Polisano Clinic for Bucharest, held by the medical service operator by the same name, whose total revenues reached 5 million euros a year.

At the same time, a young doctor who is just starting his or her career earns 500 – 1,000 euros in net amount per month. “The best-paid specialties are those that generate volumes, like cardiology, gynaecology, or otorhinolaryngology,” says Sas.

Doris Carmen Andronescu, general manager of Sanador medical centre says that surgical specialties are very well paid, as are the doctors working in medical imaging. “There are doctors who constantly earn more than 200 – 300 million ROL (5,500 – 8,100 euros i.e.) in net amount per month,” Polisano’s manager adds.

Salary-wise, the gap between the private and the public system is huge: a state-paid doctor earns several hundred euros a month and the salary of a resident very rarely exceeds 300 euros per month.

Approximately 50,000 doctors work in the Romanian health care system, but there is no data on the number of doctors working in the private sector. “The number of doctors that see patients in private centres is in the range of thousands, but quite few of them work exclusively for private institutions,” says Mircea Cinteza, chairman of the College of Medical Doctors.

Moreover, many doctors who work in private clinics can earn even more than the managers of those institutions themselves. Daniela Necefor, managing partner of consultancy and executive search company Total Business Solutions says that a private clinic manager earns approximately 4,000 euros per month. It should be noted that most private hospital or clinic managers are not medical doctors. The salaries of doctors that work in private clinics and hospitals rival those of multinational top management. So why are doctors still leaving to work abroad?

Job sites are full of ads recruiting medical personnel for countries such as the UK, France or Germany, seeking people to fill positions and offering 7,000 to 8,500 euros per month for doctors and 2,660 to 4,134 euros per month for nurses.

“It’s usually doctors at the start of their careers that want to leave, who do not have that much experience and do not have a stable position yet,” explains Cristian Sas, adding experienced doctors rarely choose to leave.

Why do doctors want to leave when the easiest solution would be to migrate from a public to a private hospital? The salary of state-employed residents, the category most likely to go to work abroad, rarely exceeds 300 euros per month. Yet residents cannot be hired full-time in private institutions. “Residents have to work full-time at the state hospital they were assigned to, and can only work in a private centre part-time. Most often, their line of work in a private centre is below their qualifications,” Sas says.

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