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Polish medical brain drain: fleeing from the relative deprivation?

Jan P. Brzozowski, Cracow University

The paper analyses the migration of health professionals from Poland, with the particular emphasis on the causes of the phenomenon. One may expect that the main driving force, which pulls the physicians from their homeland, are the wage differentials. For instance, a Polish doctor earns ten times less than his counterpart in Great Britain. However, the main thesis of the article is somehow surprising: the main determinant of intensive outflow of Polish physicians might be rather the relative deprivation than the wage differentials. Polish health sector is still under the public control and the official income of physicians is considerably lower than in other professional groups of reference (lawyers, scientists or even construction workers). Thus, not only the international wage differential that matters, but also the internal (home) wage differentials. Some implications for the Polish economic and migration policy are presented.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Poster Session 3: migration, environment and spatial demography