A Romanian Medical Worker in France

Since Romania’s accession to the European Union, medical professionals from that country have been relocating to France, which ranks first among all destinations for Romanian physicians with a European degree. This paper aims at understanding the motivations behind their decisions to migrate, as well as the specific contribution they make to the healthcare system of France.

National and local travailleur roumain en France actors rely on Romanian doctors to fill gaps in the healthcare system, especially in remote rural areas or in hospitals inherited from lunatic asylums. In their view, they bring modern medical equipment and materials, are fluent in French and easily master the local accent, are accustomed to working with French patients, and adhere to the Hippocratic oath. Local newspapers also celebrate their arrivals, with many displaying pictures of the new doctor with a Vidal medical dictionary at hand.

“From East to West: Understanding the Migration of Romanian Workers to France

A migrant from Buzescu in central Romania, D.D., in his early 20s, migrated to France with his family at the age of 10. He now makes his living by helping travelers work the ticket, snapshot, and candy machines at Gare du Nord and other railway stations.

He hopes that newly-elected President Macron will not be a “second Sarkozy”. He and his fellow Roma migrants cross their fingers that promises to relax laws restricting access to employment will bear fruit. Until then, they are convinced that life in the illegal Roma ghettos of Paris is still better than in the “barbaric” camps of Romania, where people live with nothing but begging and prostitution.

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