In the 1990s, thousands of Jewish physicians made aliya from the former Soviet
Union; today, many of them have reached or are about to reach retirement age – a
major reason for the current severe shortage of Israeli doctors.
Immigrant Absorption Ministry has prepared 22 physicians from the FSU to work in
the Israeli health system – far from enough but a step in the right
A ministry ceremony will be held on Monday at Beit Canada in
Ashdod to welcome the newcomers. It will be attended by Immigrant Absorption
Minister Sofa Landver and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky.
newcomers have received assistance from the ministry in preparing for the
licensing exams, and they will soon take up posts in hospitals and community
clinics. The Health Ministry was not involved in the project.
immigrant doctors learned Hebrew, not only the basic language but also
sophisticated medical terminology for their work.
The course gives the
immigrants 10 “bonus points” for three licensing exams over two years after the
course is completed, while the Absorption Ministry also finances their first
salaries and the costs of internship and residency in hospitals.
of 10 of the physicians passed the course preparing them for licensing on their
first attempt, with 80 percent overall passing the licensing exam.
Absorption Ministry continues to assist the doctors during the beginning of
their integration in medical institutions. In April 2013, the ministry intends
to bring a fourth group to train at Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center to get their
licenses to practice in October.
Claudia Katz, head of the employment
branch of the ministry, said that both new immigrant and returning Israeli
physicians are helped by her office. In the past, her office held a job fair for
physicians in Moscow who are interested in living and working in
Informed that the Obamacare program in the US has alarmed many US
physicians who fear that their salaries will decline and their work load will
increase due to increased bureaucracy, Katz agreed that it could be the right
time to organize a doctors job fair there, as some Jewish physicians may be
interested in aliya.