Credit: Freepik

Over 1,200 Ukrainians Enrolled For Exam To Work In Czech Healthcare Sector In 2023

A total of 1,231 Ukrainian nationals enrolled last year for the exam that allows them to work in the Czech healthcare sector, an increase of a third from 2022, according to data from the Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education (IPVZ) and the National Center for Nursing and Non-Medical Health Professions (NCONZO).

Of the total, 852 were Ukrainian doctors and pharmacists and 379 non-medical health professionals.

It is not known exactly how many Ukrainians work in the Czech healthcare system, but most hospitals took on dozens such staff in the first year after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Before non-EU foreign nationals can work in the Czech Republic as doctors or nurses, the Czech authorities must recognize their diplomas and degrees and they must pass exams to verify their language skills and their professional knowledge in Czech.

According to Health Ministry spokesperson Ondrej Jakob, a contact centre for foreigners who wish to work in the Czech healthcare system was established at the Brno Nursing Center in spring 2022. “It helps foreign health professionals throughout the entire adaptation process, from recognition of foreign diplomas and degrees through the certification exam to recognize their competence to practise the health profession,” he said.

A large number of doctors and especially dentists fail the exam the first time. According to IPVZ spokesman Jan Brodsky, last year the success rate for pharmacists was 75%, physicians 68% and dentists 52%. This year, 377 physicians, 91 dentists and 19 pharmacists have signed up to take the exam in the spring.

According to Petra Kucharikova of NCONZO, around 200 non-medical health professionals usually apply for the exams per year, with a success rate of about 77%.

The Health Ministry allows health professionals to conduct an internship in hospitals for 12 months before the exam, which can be extended to twice that long. “During this time, every health worker should pass an approbation exam in order to obtain recognition of their ability to practise the medical profession in the Czech Republic without limitations,” Jakob told CTK.

In 2022, 304 health professionals were allowed to go to hospitals for internships, followed by 235 last year and 12 this January.

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