Doctors Without Jobs: the case of Ethiopian government-trained physicians

~ “In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able
to unite regardless of party or politics.” ~ John F. Kennedy

In our nation, the urgent issue currently, we feel, is the crisis of unemployed doctors. In a nation where healthcare is at its rudimentary by any standard, not to utilize doctors who have been trained by the government using its meager resource, one can’t help but ask the sanity or the rationale behind the veil…veil because of lack of clarity to the onlookers. Not to employ graduated physicians to serve the very nation they were prepared to serve counts for a plan grossly missing its mark. Addis Standard in its feature analysis puts it well. “A National Paradox: Ethiopia Struggles with Shortage of Physicians while Physicians Struggle to find Employment.”

One can’t help but surmise the policy-makers have lost their faculty to help them point to a nation’s priorities. To add salt to the wound, the unemployed doctors are in dire situation of confusion, betrayal and depression of feeling unworthiness. What must a nation do as united to overcome this crisis….man-made crisis we point out.

As the above quote puts it so eloquently, this is not a time for finger-pointing but to come together as a nation and to come up with a solution that would benefit all citizens regardless of their creed, religion or place of origin. First, let’s start from understanding the situation clearly, and that requires transparency from the decision-makers and policy-setters.



November 12, 2020
Healthcare is one of the basic human rights and its workers are the backbones of the system. In national reports from 2019, Ethiopia still remains as one of the countries with low number of health professionals where the ratio of General practitioner to population is 1: 9,641 from which women physicians take up 22.5% of the total number of physicians in the country (1). This stands just at the minimum recommendation of the WHO. The reasons for this low number cited are population growth, low number of medical schools, brain drain and poor expansion of health care institutions (2). In order to combat this issue, the Ethiopian government has increased the number of medical schools, made governmental service mandatory before receiving educational documents, and opened new programs such as the health extension programs to promote universal health coverage. However, in recent years the increase in medical graduates has put pressure on health system of the country. The central deployment of physicians by the federal government was stopped in 2018 making the job search responsibility fall on graduates. Read More

Information is power: We point you directly to the below document prepared by the Ethiopian Medical Women’s Association (EMeWA)

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