July 25, 2021

“It is true that one feels guilty and selfish to leave, but everything is regressing”, Tunisia weakened by a hemorrhage of doctors

In the midst of a pandemic, Narjes Soua, a Tunisian doctor, set down in southern Ardèche to work as an associate trainee before obtaining the equivalence competition. “It was very fast, I started my departure procedure in August 2020. I got a contract quite easily because there is a great demand for caregivers in France”, explains the 29-year-old young woman, who arrived in France in October, after defending her thesis in Tunisia and finishing her internship years.

This departure abroad was a long-standing project. At first, it was about acquiring “A different experience”. Today, Narjes Soua sees it more as a long-term installation. “It’s very difficult for me to know if I will come back to work in my country one day. We have no prospect of the future in Tunisia with the salaries offered to us, and the quality of life is no longer the same. I feel more free here ”, she confides.

“During the pandemic, I preferred to work as a volunteer in the SAMU services rather than in the hospital, so I found it ridiculous to be paid that price. »Maamoun Khamassi, doctor

In Tunisia, nearly 80% of young people registered with the order of physicians have applied for radiation and left abroad in 2020. Between 700 and 800 practitioners leave the country each year, and their number is only growing. increase. This brain drain to France or Germany has become commonplace for new graduates, suffering from the salaries offered in the public sector, around 1,200 dinars, or 360 euros per month (for a Tunisian minimum income of 120 euros).

“During the pandemic, I preferred to work as a volunteer in the SAMU services rather than in the hospital, so I found it ridiculous to be paid that price, when you chain the guards and you are exposed. virus “, explains Maamoun Khamassi, 34, also landed in Ardèche two months ago.

A forbidden dual membership

The arrival of Covid-19 in Tunisia has accentuated the magnifying glass effect on the failures of the public health system, pointed out by caregivers for years. “Most recruitments are blocked because of the debt of the State and, when recruiting, the contracts are very precarious and do not even provide health coverage in the event of Covid, considered an occupational disease only for employees “, explains Ridha Dhaoui, president of the Tunisian medical order.

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