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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


HERNANDEZ, Tulia  and  ORTIZ GOMEZ, Yamileth. The emigration of physicians in Venezuela. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.2, pp.177-181. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: Ascertain the factors that could affect the intention of Venezuelan health professionals to emigrate to other countries. METHODS: Exploratory study that applied a semistructured interview and survey, respectively, to a population consisting of four health professionals and 36 medical students. The interview data were analyzed by deductive and inductive categorization and the survey data by means of univariate and bivariate analysis. RESULTS: It was observed that 13.8% of the students generally intended to emigrate, with differences between the two study groups. It was found that work-related issues had a high motivating effect (16.6%), particularly the possibility of balancing work with personal life, better pay, access to continuing education, working in a better health system, and having the basic resources necessary for professional practice. It was determined that professional reasons had a moderate motivating effect (13.8%), whereas personal and contextual reasons had little influence (less than 3%). Although the interviews of physicians who had obtained their medical degree revealed clashes involving political and economic interests, only 5.5% of the students surveyed considered the political or economic situation a determinant in the emigration of professionals. CONCLUSIONS: It is recommended that the management and professional development of medical personnel be strengthened, reconciling their expectations with the legal framework and needs of the health system. A formal system for tracking the emigration of professionals and broadening the study of the causative factors at the national level should be set up, since better knowledge about the phenomena linked with emigration would help generate and support proposals to guarantee self-sufficiency with respect to human resources for health.

Keywords : Emigration and immigration; human resources; migration policy; education; medical; graduate; education; medical; continuing; health policy; world health; Venezuela.

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