In a rare break from Florin Chirculescu’s nearly 60-hour working week at Bucharest’s university hospital, he sits down, sighs deeply, and lights an extra-long cigarette drawn from a pack on a cluttered desk. “We are running out of doctors,” the 53-year-old thoracic surgeon declares
In the UK, a debate over EU migration rules has been dominated by predictions that a deluge of low-skilled workers from Romania and Bulgaria could overwhelm Britain after restrictions keeping them out were lifted on January 1. So far, those floods have failed to materialise.
But to Mr Chirculescu, such discussion fails to acknowledge a brewing public health crisis due to a different kind of EU migration: an exodus of Romanian doctors to Germany, France and the UK.
“We are the ones getting screwed, not the Brits,” he says, with visible frustration. “The Brits complain that we will steal their benefits? They are scared that we will abuse the NHS? That’s ironic given that the NHS runs thanks to the thousands of Romanian doctors working for the NHS.”
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