More and more doctors trained abroad want to work in Berlin. The number of applications for recognition of doctors licensed abroad increased in the first half of 2022. The State Office for Health and Social Affairs (Lageso) recently set up extra positions in the responsible department to speed up the processes.
This emerges from a response by State Secretary for Science Armaghan Naghipour (Greens) to a question from FDP health expert Florian Kluckert, which is available to the Tagesspiegel in advance.
In the Lageso were for this year to the beginning of June nearly 390 applications abroad of licensed physicians. This could bring the total number of applications for recognition to 900 by the end of the year, which would be more than has been common in recent years.
So far this year, 165 applications have been granted, and those concerned are now allowed to work as physicians in Germany. The majority of applications in 2022 again came from Syrians, who submitted 44 applications, followed by Turks, Egyptians, Ukrainians and Russians.
Applications for licensure as a registered nurse, meanwhile, have come mostly from women and men in Mexico, the Philippines, Iran, Bosnia and Albania.
In Mexico, the Philippines and the Balkans in particular, German nursing homes and individual hospitals, including Berlin's Charité hospital, had been specifically recruiting staff. The front-runner so far this year, however, is Brazil, from where 55 applications have been submitted.
In total, more than 270 nursing applications had been received at the Lageso by the beginning of June, and "permission to hold the professional title" had been granted 108 times.
All hospitals in the region are urgently looking for nursing staff, especially since a new collective bargaining agreement has come into force at the Charité and the Vivantes clinics, which are also owned by the state, requiring additional staff. Then there are the city's nursing homes, which also need more specialists. The city's health departments, in turn, are urgently looking for doctors.
The FDP remains skeptical, saying it had expected more requests in light of the global crises. "It seems that professionals tend to choose other countries to work in," said MP Kluckert. "This could have to do with the fact that the professionals needed in Berlin still have to wait months for their training to be recognized. The Senate needs to solve the problem of waiting times and streamline bureaucratic procedures to speed up recognition processes."
The answer to Kluckert shows that in the future 16 positions will be responsible for the procedures at the Lageso, 15 of which have been filled. Last year, there were only 13 Lageso employees working there.
State Secretary Naghipour writes that "due to the rights of the applicants and the legally mandatory high standards for the examination of the documents," faster recognition procedures are difficult.
The duration of the procedure for a doctor or nurse trained in an EU country, who also has the required language skills and submits all the necessary documents, often takes only one month, she says. The procedure for "third-country training" without the appropriate language level often takes "considerably longer.
Despite all the "red tape," more and more doctors from abroad are working in Berlin. From 2018 to 2021, more than 1300 approvals were granted to physicians with foreign training, which was approximately one third of all approvals.
Image by Engin Akyurt