Doctors leaving Morocco

The Minister of Higher Education gave specific figures on the loss of doctors who leave Morocco each year. Some of these young people leave the country immediately after completing their medical training, which is usually free for them. This observation of the Minister thus reopens the debate on the problematic brain drain of young Moroccan executives towards horizons that they think are much more lenient in terms of career and opportunities.

For some years, Morocco has been witnessing a bleeding of these senior executives in many sectors, including scientific and technical disciplines but also doctors. This brain drain informs about the policy of these sectors, which for these actors do not offer adequate social security to the job, but better, the career plan is too limited compared to countries, including Europe or Canada.
According to the Minister of Higher Education, Abdellatif Miraoui, half of the 1,400 doctors who train annually in medical schools leave Morocco to settle in Europe or Canada. This includes dentists and pharmacists. The reason, according to the minister, is that Moroccan doctors are in demand in Europe.

During his face-to-face meeting with deputies in the House of Councillors, he said that: “To solve the serious shortage of doctors, it is not enough to increase the number of university places, but it is necessary to motivate new graduates to stay in Morocco. The Minister, who defends the reduction of the duration of training for doctors from 7 to 6 years, stressed that the government has considered this issue in relation to developed countries such as the USA and Canada, where the duration of training does not exceed 4 years. The Ministry of Higher Education had previously announced that the training period should be shortened and that the number of places in faculties would be increased by 20% from the next academic year and doubled by 2026.

The liberal doctors’ union has previously informed that about 300 doctors leave Morocco every year. Most of them opt for Germany and France, where more than 8,000 Moroccan doctors are said to be based.

Morocco has long faced a further loss of its best and brightest workers. Health care reforms are under threat. Yet Morocco has been investing for years in its education system, which continues to be criticized for its inefficiency. But young people can benefit from a public education system that is largely free up to the first grade, which is not a given around the world.

Although students are not primarily encouraged to think independently, innovatively, and critically, scientific training is at a good level compared to other African and South American countries. At the same time, all young people trained are multilingual and speak French as their first foreign language and, increasingly, English.

But beyond professional goals, emigration arouses great interest among young people, because academics are particularly affected by unemployment.

This medical shortage threatens the success of the new health reform and the construction of the general social protection system, the core of which is universal health insurance and retirement. In the face of these reforms, the Kingdom expects a growing demand for medical services when costs no longer deter citizens from going to the doctor. At the same time, Moroccan society is aging and, with increasing prosperity, is also becoming more susceptible to disease. Typical diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure are on the rise, but cancer is also increasingly diagnosed.

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