Surgeon With $300 Salary: the Ridiculous Price for Life in Russia
1,246 views   /  10 Jun 2016
When you spend several days in a hospital with suspected appendicitis, you can, surprisingly, learn a lot of new things. For example, that a doctor that/who might carry out your surgery earns about 300 dollars a month. Or that a nurse who cleans the whole floor and takes care of all patients didn’t even get a New Year’s bonus to buy her family appropriate presents/to buy appropriate presents for her family.
“How much do you earn?” a woman lying in the bed in front of me asked a young medical worker who was cleaning our ward. The young woman had been working in the hospital for several years as a nurse and was responsible for keeping all wards on the floor clean. She thought for a while, as if unwilling to answer the question, and then said: “I earn about 20,000 rubles (less than 300 dollars) a month. No bonus nor additional payments. The funniest thing is that our surgeons earn about the same. So they have to work in different places to make both ends meet.”
After the woman left, the whole room fell silent. No one could believe that nowadays such incomes actually exist in the field of medicine.
Russian authorities repeatedly promised to raise salaries for medical workers and teachers whose jobs are acknowledged to be the most difficult and important professions worldwide. However, the real situation in the field seems to be far from progress.
According to German website gehaltsreporter.de, medical specialists in Germany earn between 11,500 € (family doctor) and 25,250 € (radiologist) monthly, thus being on the top among other jobs in terms of the level of the income.
The rhetorical question is: why is the profession which is considered very prestigious and well-paid in Europe is so underestimated in Russia? How is it possible that the doctors who are responsible for people’s lives earn a salary comparable to that of a student with a part-time job?
Official statistics says, by 2018 doctors, teachers of higher educational institutions and researchers should expect the rise in their salaries by 200% from the average wages in their region. Social workers, nurses and school teachers could expect the salary growth of up to 100% from the average income in their region. The mere numbers are quite promising, but let’s see how the situation really looks like.
Russian website http://zpmedika.ru publishes real incomes of medical workers based on the documents they provide on condition of anonymity. According to the data, the average income of a medical worker in Moscow is 500 dollars: a salary of a nurse is about 200 dollars, while that of an anesthesiologist is about 800 dollars. The situation is much worse in small cities: for instance, in the Moscow Region a surgeon has an official salary of a little bit more than 100 dollars!!! A pediatrician earns about 350 dollars, while a dental technician receives 200 dollars a month!
We often complain about corruption and bribery when we visit a doctor and have to pay money for a “better treatment”. And of course, I am not trying to justify this scheme. What I am trying to do is to understand how our officials who possess numerous houses, luxury cars and illegal bank accounts overseas let it happen? How can they let a person who saves human lives days and nights get by with a couple hundreds of dollars a month?
Again, this is a rhetorical question: an issue of human conscience and our rotten governmental system. I just hope that the “gods” of our politics will stop turning their blind eye to the fate of lesser mortals and finally make a generous gesture to improve their quality of life.
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