The AZ West hospital in Veurne has been looking for a new paediatrician for several years now. However, its search has proved fruitless. In an effort to change this the hospital has decided to offer 15,000 euro to anyone that can find the hospital a new paediatrician.
The hospital’s director Lieven Vermeulen told VRT News that "We really have a problem. Normally we should have a team of four pediatricians, but one of them dropped out through illness and another decided to take a career switch. The reward of 15,000 euros an ultimate attempt to try and find someone."
From home or abroad
“AZ West in Veurne is a smaller hospital. This means that doctors here have to work in smaller teams than at larger hospitals and therefore have to be on call more. We are trying to put our hospital in the spotlight by offering a generous welcome bonus and financially supporting the paediatric service”, Mr Vermeulen added.
Several medical students told VRT News that one of the main reasons for the shortage of paediatricians is the very strict limit on the number of students that are allowed to take courses specialising in paediatric medicine. They say that the limit on the numbers is already very tight without taking into account doctors that for whatever reason might decide to work part-time or to switch to a career in another field.
Moreover, paediatric medicine is not the best-paid field in specialist medicine.