Estonia has faced a shortage of family practitioners for a while now and the Health Board is looking for doctors to fill vacant positions, as the number of elderly doctors increases.
Right now, the Estonia Health Board is looking for new family doctors in the capital Tallinn, in the towns of Keila and Elva and two are needed in Valga, in southern Estonia. Therefore a total of 8,700 Estonians are without a family doctor.
Health Board media adviser Merilin Vernik commented that new specialists would take over the lists of patients, yet in case new doctors were not found then a temporary substitution would be found.
“Patients on the list will be guaranteed general medical care. The Health Board works to ensure that the lists have their own family doctor,” Vernik noted.
However, the situation with family doctors in Estonia is getting worse annually. 735 – 48% of doctors – are over 60, but 11% are over 70. A large number of specialists continue to work into retirement age and until they pass away. (BNN/Business World Magazine)