Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fly by Day Doctor

Work by night...in Scotland's National Health Service:
Dr [Piotr] Robinski flies to Scotland every other weekend to work for the NHS in Aberdeen. He says he is only doing the same as most of his contemporaries.

"Doctors in the UK usually only work in one work... doctors in Poland work in more than one work so it is completely normal for me to take another job somewhere else. If I [didn't] go to Scotland, I would find [a] second job here in Poland."

Shift shortages

Doctors in former Eastern Bloc countries, such as Poland, can expect to earn less than the average wage, which is around £300 a month. Dr Robinski can earn the same amount in one shift in the UK.

What's more, shifts in the evenings and at weekends need filling. In 2004, 90% of GPs' surgeries opted out of providing out-of-hours care, so health trusts had to begin employing agencies to fill the shifts.

....By the end of his shift, Dr Robinski will have been on the go for around 19 hours, but he says he's not too tired to work.

"My journey takes around 12 hours, sometimes less, and when I get to Aberdeen I take only a few hours of work.. then I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning I am not tired."

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