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In Germany, there has been a shortage of doctors for years. The coronavirus crisis shows how the country has profited from immigration in recent years.

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(14 May 2020) - One group that has been called upon to provide personnel support in the health sector is that of foreign doctors whose accreditation is still pending.

The Saxon State Medical Association was one of the pioneers of such initiatives. Around 130 foreign doctors without a licence to practise medicine in Germany have already responded to the call. Two weeks later, the Bavarian State Medical Association followed the Saxon example. To date, more than 660 foreign doctors without a German licence to practise medicine have responded to the call, as of 6 May.

A little later, the government of North Rhine-Westphalia facilitated the professional licensing of foreign doctors to create additional personnel resources and to relieve the burden on hospital staff.

The nationwide online portal “match4healthcare”, which was developed by students and places healthcare professionals and medical students in clinics and nursing homes throughout the country, also went online at the end of March.

According to the Federal Employment Agency, in September 2019, approximately 356,000 people from the so-called “asylum countries of origin” were employed in Germany subject to social security contributions, more than 4% of them in the health care system. These countries include Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. (EurActiv)

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