Healthcare workers in Albania  – Stay or leave? | DW Documentary

Healthcare workers in Albania – Stay or leave? | DW Documentary

Germany has too few healthcare workers and is trying to plug the gaps with recruitment drives in poorer countries like Albania. As a result, many young and well-trained people are packing up and leaving the country.

Word has got around in Albania that the German health and care sector has a skills shortage. Many qualified healthcare workers have decided to leave for Germany. In Tirana, twenty-two-year-old Alketa Kaja is doing a special German language course for healthcare and nursing to prepare for her new life. A German clinic has offered her a job and is paying the course fees.
Only 50% of healthcare workers trained in Albania remain in the country. One of them is Kastriot Qehaja. Even though his job is strenuous and poorly paid, he doesn’t want to leave his country. Someone needs to look after the elderly people whose children have gone to work in western Europe.

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Video Transcript

These young healthcare workers are learning German in Albania they’re hoping to go and work in Germany and German hospitals and Care Homes are Keen to recruit them good morning F Schneider my name’s Aletta and I’m the nurse looking after you today my career is my biggest dream I

Hope I’ll get lots of opportunities to specialize but Al I has a shortage of healthcare workers especially in rural areas hardly anyone wants to stay and work under difficult conditions for low wages the main problem is the big distance from door to door it takes two

To three hours just to get to the next patient the fact that so many young people are leaving is a major problem the elderly in particular depend on regular care It’s the start of a long day Casto chiaya and his wife are packing food he can take with him the nurse will be on the go for up to 10 hours looking after his patients he won’t be able to buy food on the road would you like more it’s Enough Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe the 36-year-old lives in a sparsely populated mountainous region in the north close to the border with Kosovo many houses are not served by paved roads his patients live kilometers apart the healthcare worker visits all of them on foot

If I had a car it’ be better for me and my patients I’d be able to reach them more quickly help would arrive faster but castot can’t afford to buy the off-road vehicle he’d need from his low wages and so instead he covers 20 to 30 km on foot each

Day hello how are you fine thanks and you very well today here great you Lynn are you feeling a bit better today no the 84-year-old has an infection at the moment castot is visiting her every day to give her medication the small 100ml bottle is for the anti biotics it contains a pain Killer you’ll feel better afterwards during the infusion he tells his patient about his concerns the region is undergoing major Changes so many people have left Albania most of us have left especially the young people 33 young men in the last few months alone eight from my They’re all looking for a better life Lyn the Pay Here is too low they want a better life for their families and especially for their children healthcare workers in particular are packing up and going they can earn more money in Germany and other Western European countries only a handful want to stay

Get well soon Lynn we’ll have to do something things can’t stay like this all the best L all the best you too it’s difficult because the nearest medical center is an hour’s drive away we’re happy that castot can come here he’s such a big Help it’s a 2hour walk now from here to his next patient castot has a degree in nursing and is employed by the state he earns €450 a Month the houses here are scattered across the landscape the nearest small settlement is 30 km away castot looks after the elderly gives vaccinations and provides first aid for major and minor Injuries Albania’s capital Tirana is the jumping off point for many in search of a better life elsewhere in Europe 22-year-old Aletta Kaya also plans to leave this Year a German company in tyana offers courses for qualified healthcare workers from Albania it also finds employment for them and does the paperwork the training is paid for by German hospitals and care homes Germany’s skill shortage in the sector provides the foundation for its business Model I’m treating an inpatient in today’s exercise this will help me prepare for an exam in Germany the course participants are learning bedside manners in German bruised ribs on the right the only complaint is pain I’m in pain good morning FR Schneider my name is Aletta and I’m the nurse looking after you today how do you feel I’m in pain where is it exactly it hurts here by my ribs okay okay I understand on a

Scale of 1 to 10 how strong would you say the pain is about six okay okay could I take your pulse please yes of course thanks I’ll give you a painkiller you’ll feel better soon she has reached a B2 level in German and is now preparing for the Practical part

Here then she’ll travel to Germany to take the exam and get her license get well soon FR Schneider and now I’m leaving the room okay did you like and what mistakes did she make uh I think that she introduced herself well the treatment and the way she spoke to the patient were

Good of course there’s the language issue we have to improve to avoid having problems when we’re with patients in Germany completed a masters in healthc Care Management in Tian and is a qualified nurse a German hospital has already offered her a permanent Post in its cardiac surgery unit but the contract hinges on her passing her exams in a few months time in German she has to learn a lot of specialized

Vocabulary it’s preparation for the B2 language test for healthare work we need that for the examination it’s a 3mon course Joanna could you briefly present the topic for us dementia is a degenerative brain disease at first short-term memory is affected the hospital in offenberg is paying for aletta’s specialized course

It costs them less than to train people as nurses in Germany lessons end at noon giving the students time to learn the new vocabulary some of them have only studied health care so they can immigrate easily and legally the German labor market depends on healthcare workers from

Albania and for young people it’s an attractive Prospect to move to Germany with the offer of a permanent job immigration is normal here few young people want to remain I’d like to leave as quickly as possible we haven’t started our lives here yet we were just students up to

Now so it would be better to start our future somewhere that can offer us more money is important but so is quality of life here we don’t have any security but you need that for example if you want to start a family it’s not just healthc Care Professionals who are leaving the

Country many of the students revise in for their exams here in the cafeteria will leave more than 80% of young albanians say they can imagine immigrating practically every family now has someone working abroad it’s our parents who I’m sorry for that’s the toughest thing for me there are no young people here

Anymore they’ve all left it’s a big problem something extraordinary would have to happen to make us stay it can’t go on like This in the mountains near the border with covo castot kahaya is on his way to visit his third patient of the Day it’s already Afternoon but he can’t imagine and leaving his home Region I love the beautiful natural surroundings here in the mountains the air the food the water I’m very happy Here a farm perched 400 m up a hillside is home to his last patient of the day how are you great that you’re here doctor are you all well yes his patient is celebrating her 9th birthday today many happy returns I wish you another 100 years I wish you the same

You’re a good mother God watch over you you will be there for me as long as I live as God wills it the most important thing is that we take your Vital Signs blood pressure heart rate appearance temperature as long as my mother is alive he’ll look after her better than anyone

Else and I’m grateful for that the family regard castot not just as a qualified nurse but as a doctor they rely on his diagnosis the nearest general practitioner is far away young men here are especially likely to leave two of the grandsons have been living in Germany for years now One of my sons is an electrical engineer the other is a healthcare worker like him both work in Germany it makes us sad to live without her children here that’s a big pity the birthday party starts once the infusion is over two of the 90-year-old sons have

Traveled from Italy with their wives to be here the older two still live here blow it [Applause] out let’s raise a toast thank you may God protect you all take the glass from her doctor have some cake that’s really nice thanks where there are no people there’s no growth we are getting Pur by the day because you people are leaving Albania most never

Return it would be really awful if he left to I lived here for 30 years but conditions are just too poor to stay everyone has children abroad he has children abroad and he does and me too I don’t think we live badly here you can live well here there are jobs pensions

Infrastructure nothing would work without the help of the state nonsense the state does nothing the state should first build roads and schools some houses don’t even have running water take a look at the streets they’re even too bad for horses you’d be crazy to buy a new car

Here roads are what are most important to us we could get to sick people faster enjoy the rest of your Day goodbye castot sets off on his 8 km walk Home the capital Tiana is a 6-hour drive away more and more people are moving out of the country country into the city for many it’s just a stepping stone for immigration Albania has been hoping to join the European Union for a long time now hoping for a better quality of

Life tian’s relative affluence largely stems from people who earn their living Abroad the state’s Health Ministry is trying to staunch the flow qualified health professionals are badly needed here at home in the Ministry of Health myis Cola is hoping that more money will help persuade well-trained young people to stay put from 2013 to 2022 pay Rose by

63% I’m going to put forward another 7% rise in July we’ve also doubled the number of places in higher education for nurses and doctors only 50% of trained staff currently stay in the country’s Public Health Care System the enormous Exodus of healthc Care staff is a European phenomenon it’s

Problematic but I think that our measures will help staunch the flow of medical staff from the country person the castri Kaya’s home is high up in the mountains 10 km from the nearest Village and only accessible across a steep path he lives here with his family his parents and his brother’s family it’s

Castot day off today and he’s unwinding playing the traditional Albanian loot the chiti with his father his niece plays [Applause] [Applause] Too I’m very happy here with my family and friends of course you can earn more money abroad but I love being here no problem as well as keeping bees the family has chickens pigs cows and a horse to carry loads almost all the families here in the mountains have livestock partly to save Money Time for lunch with the whole family in the only room with heating most of the food has been grown or produced here but a member of this family also works abroad in the UK casto’s wife shpresa is pregnant with their second child she works as a teacher in the

Village his mother merera is a midwife and used to bring her doctor’s bag when she went to visit patients on foot he often accompanied me on the long walks to visit my patients he used to watch me carefully and learned a lot by the time he was eight he already knew

All the names of the medicines it wasn’t easy sending three children to University in all that time I never bought myself a new pair of trousers to save money they great kids who have never let me down the love and presence of my children is far more important to me than any money

From [Applause] Abroad back in toron Aleta Kaya and her husband are making a meal should I use this knife yes okaya is it clean yep it’s Ramadan the Muslim month of fasting Aletta won’t eat until after Sunset we often do it like this my wife is fasting so I’m going to cook

Something special for her today we don’t cook every day he really spoils me as a trained nurse it’s easy for her to find work abroad she hopes Marios can follow her after 6 months it’s ala’s idea before I hadn’t considered going to Germany but now I see it as an

Opportunity every evening Aletta her three sisters and her mother make a video call what are you doing right now Marius is cooking and I’m watchingo H how’s the course going fine we have to learn a lot Aletta is the last of the Four Sisters to leave the country to earn

Money abroad the other three are in Italy it was the most difficult decision of my life because of my parents because they’ll be left alone they’ll be sad alone because we’re a family and as the youngest child I’m especially close to my parents I am really worried how it will affect my mom

When I go too enjoy your meal darling thanks Aletta and mariio haven’t been to Germany yet and don’t know what life is like there but they have a lot of dreams for the future two children preferably twins would be fantastic in Germany of course I hope that I’ll have Advance at

Work by that point I’d like to train to specialize in surgery that’s my dream and I hope that marus will also go far maybe he’ll be a famous chef in Germany in 10 years Time while many albanians are leaving the countryside The beautiful landscape of the mountainous North is attracting more and more tourists Castot Kaya has decided to establish a second source of income his family can only scrape by with his meager pay as a state health care worker he knows the mountains here inside and out he speaks English and is training to be a mountain Guide new season will start in a few days we’re expecting a lot of tourists from Germany and Austria who like to walk along the old Trails he’d like to offer paid Mountain tours alongside his Healthcare work so he’s trying to improve his economic situation with money from foreign

Tourists unlike many others he can’t imagine leaving Albania I hope that the people who have left will come back again they come back in the summer to build houses maybe they’ll come back for Good

Video “Healthcare workers in Albania – Stay or leave? | DW Documentary” was uploaded on 01/09/2024 by DW Documentary Youtube channel.