News | MALnS

Ukrainian pediatricians will be able to treat Slovak children

Slovakia was the only one of the neighboring countries that did not recognize the diplomas of pediatricians from post-Soviet countries. It is changing his policy towards Ukrainian pediatricians. They will be recognized for their education if they pass the entrance test in their native language

Due to the non-recognition of the diploma, Viktoriya Dmytruk, a pediatrician from Donetsk, also left to work in the Czech Republic. She moved to Bratislava with her family more than 8 years ago. The Ministry of Education did not recognize her diploma twice in a row with the argument that it is not equivalent to the second-level Slovak university certificate in the general medicine program. Ukrainian pediatricians specialize in pediatrics from the beginning of their studies, Slovaks study general medicine first and specialize only later. In the Czech Republic, her diploma was recognized without any problems, she also passed the exams and has been going to weekly classes in Brno for 2 years.

"I want to work in Slovakia in Bratislava, my family lives here, whom I only see on weekends. But I couldn't give up the profession I love," explains Viktoriya Dmitruk.

By the way, Viktoria Dmytruk's diploma is still pending, as a lawsuit was filed in 2019. However, so far, even the first hearing has not been ordered.
How it will work
"I consider the government's decision to recognize the diplomas of Ukrainian pediatricians to be a great success. For seven years we fought for these specialists not to be discriminated against other medical professions. And that's only because the education system in Ukraine is different from the current Slovak one, but at the same time the same as in Czechoslovakia until 1993," states Alona Kurotová from the International Association of Doctors and Health Workers in Slovakia (MALnS).

The government, together with medical faculties and health organizations, has developed a system of recognition of their diplomas. But it won't be completely automatic. Pediatricians will need to pass the test first. Since the diplomas are recognized before passing the language exams, the tests will be in Ukrainian or Russian.

By changing the approach, children's access to health care should be significantly improved. The average age of pediatricians in Slovakia is 59 years, the oldest practicing doctor is even 93 years old.
Slovak healthcare needs more
As Alona Kurotová points out, this is an important step, in order to make the Slovak system more efficient and more medical personnel can come to work here, even more needs to be done. According to her, they still have to pay too high fees for the recognition of education and professional examination, it is also complicated by excessive bureaucracy. There is also no systematic education of foreign health professionals, both linguistically and professionally, foreign health professionals are not on the salary tables and cannot use residential studies. For the influx of foreign health workers to social service homes, enabling a temporary professional internship in these facilities would help. The international association also draws attention to the lack of nurses, informs about the differences in education with Ukraine and suggests improving the situation in this area as a next step.