MADRID – Ecuador is seeking health care professionals in Spain to fill the need for more specialists in its public health service, with a primary focus on luring Ecuadorian expats back to the Andean nation.
Public Health Minister Carina Vance on Tuesday in Madrid will present the plan entitled “Healthy Ecuador, I’m returning for you” with the aim of motivating some of the more than 3,000 Ecuadorians working as doctors, nurses or dentists in Spain to return home.
“The plan has as its objective for health professionals who live abroad to have access to jobs in the country, (and for them to be able to) contribute to the National Health System with their knowledge and with their experience,” said Vance on Monday in an interview with Efe.
She said the Ecuadorian government estimates that there are “around 10,000 health professionals who are outside the country.”
Vance said that although the main objective of the plan is to achieve the return of Ecuadorian specialists, the invitation is open to all medical professionals.
“We are here to make the international launch (of the program), but it’s for all health professionals – Ecuadorians who are abroad and for those foreigners who are interested in coming to be part of the Ecuadorian National Health System,” she said.
Among the plan’s incentives, Vance emphasized the job stability that exists for the professionals who will be able to aspire to a permanent contract, salaries that she called “competitive” in a country with a cost of living that she estimated to be one-third that of Spain or Italy and with a growing economy.
Accompanying the minister is the head of Ecuador’s IESS health service, Ramiro González, who said that in addition the country is seeking professionals in hospital administration, a sector in which several Spanish firms are operating in Ecuador and which “can be attractive for Spanish citizens.”
Vance is working in coordination with other institutions to facilitate interested persons’ participation in the competitive selection process from the countries in which they reside, as well as to accelerate the procedure for traveling to Ecuador, issuing visas for non-Ecuadorian relatives and standardizing credentials. EFE