Vucic warns Germany not to 'kidnap' medical staff despite six-year-long deal

NEWS 05.12.2019 09:38
Source: N1

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic told the Belgrade Happy TV late on Wednesday he advised the German Health Minister not to think about coming to Serbia to take the countries’ nurses to Germany, but overlooked the fact that the two countries had an agreement for the last six years on sending medical staff to Germany and that the migration could not be stopped, N1 reported.

Vucic referred to a new law in force as of March next year, which stipulated that people from countries outside the European Union could get a job in Germany easier than before.

“I get goosebumps when I see our media promoting this German’s decision for a hundred, two hundred Euros – ‘hey, come to Germany on March 1, Germany will take you all’,” Vucic said.
He added and then “(Jens) Spahn, fantastic, capable German Health Minister says – hey, I’m coming to Serbia to take your nurses! No, you won’t come here, no way.”

 However, Ivana Pavlovic, a journalist with the New Economy, said: “it is one of many populist statements by President Vucic.“

Zoran Ilic, the leader of the Union of Health and Social Services, said “the problem is that we’re not Germany. If we were Germany and they were Serbia, we could have set some conditions.”

Vucic did not explain how he would prevent Germany from attracting Serbia’s medical staff.

He said the Government would raise their wages, but experts say low salary was not the only reason for their departure to Germany and other Western countries. The conditions they work in are also a critical factor, they say.

According to Triple Win projects, implemented in Serbia by the organisation for international cooperation, GIZ, which finds jobs abroad, says the interest for work outside Serbia was growing. This year, so far, 360 people applied, while in 2018 there were 275. In 2020, the Triple Win will have three more advertisements giving people in Serbia three more chances to leave.

On average, some 110 nurses and medical technicians used Triple Win to go abroad. The organisation says its rules ban them from sending medical staff out of a country that has a shortage of that workforce and that, generally, it must not cause the lack of expert staff in their home country labour market.