Why do doctors emigrate from Sri Lanka A survey of medical undergraduates and new graduatesReport as inadecuate

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BMC Research Notes

, 7:918

Health Services Research


BackgroundMigration of medical professionals is a long recognized problem in Sri Lanka, but it has not been studied in depth. Undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in Sri Lanka is state sponsored, and loss of trained personnel is a loss of investment. This study assessed the intention to migrate among medical students and newly passed out graduates from the largest medical school in Sri Lanka.

MethodsA cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo in September 2013 with the participation of first and fourth year medical students and pre-intern medical graduates. Data was collected using a self administered, pre-tested questionnaire that collected data on socio-demographic details, intention to migrate and factors influencing a decision for or against migration.

ResultsThere were 374 respondents, 162 from first year females; 104, 64.2%, 159 from fourth year females; 85, 53.5% and 53 pre interns females; 22, 41.5%. Of the entire sample, 89 23.8% had already decided to migrate while another 121 32.3% were not sure of their decision. The most cited reasons for migration were a perceived better quality of life, better earnings and more training opportunities in the host country. There were no socio-demographic characteristics that had a significant association with the intention to migrate, indicating that it is a highly individualized decision.

ConclusionsThe rate of intention to migrate in this sample is low when compared to international studies from Africa and South Asia, but is still significant. The core reasons which prompt doctors to migrate should be addressed by a multipronged approach to prevent brain drain.

AbbreviationsUSDUnited States Dollar.

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Author: Nipun Lakshitha de Silva - Keshinie Samarasekara - Chaturaka Rodrigo - Lasitha Samarakoon - Sumadhya Deepika Fernando - Sen

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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