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Lowest Paid Doctors In The World

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Nada El Garhy, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Nada El Garhy

    Nada El Garhy Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    According to the 2015 Medscape Physician Compensation Report, many U.S. physicians believe they are not fairly compensated for their work. Less than half of the American ophthalmologists and general surgeons surveyed believe they are fairly compensated for their work and sacrifice.

    One of the most common questions from medical professionals concerned about their compensation is, “What do medical jobs pay in other parts of the world?” It is a simple question on the surface, but calculating real incomes can be complex.

    There are many factors that must be included when calculating physicians’ real incomes all around the world including:

    • Varying cost of living between countries
    • Differences in tax rates between countries
    • Differences in overhead for various medical field jobs
    • Different medical field jobs have different pay rates in each country
    • Different demand for medical jobs in each country
    • Different forms of remuneration for different specialties and medical practices

    OECD Countries

    It’s worth examining the pay rates of physicians within the OECD countries separately because these countries all have advanced medical systems. OECD stands for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. It is an international economic organization that has 34 member countries, including the United States.

    It should come as no surprise that the highest paid physicians in the world are from the Netherlands and the United States. The relatively high cost of medical services in the United States drives physician salaries. Be forewarned: if you are from the United States or the Netherlands, the lowest rates of pay that doctors receive may come as a shock to you!

    Physicians with the Lowest Incomes — Relative Remuneration

    One useful comparison when evaluating physicians’ incomes is looking at how much they are paid relative to other people in the economy. In the OECD, general practitioners are paid the least in the following countries:

    • Hungary (1.4 times the average wage)
    • Estonia (1.7 times the average wage)
    • Australia (1.7 times the average wage)
    • Netherlands (1.7 times the average wage)
    • Finland (1.8 times the average wage)
    • Slovakia (1.9 times the average wage)
    Specialists in the OECD are paid the least in the following countries:

    • Hungary (1.6 times the average wage)
    • Norway (1.8 times the average wage)
    • Slovakia (1.8 times the average wage)
    • Estonia (2.1 times the average wage)
    • Finland/United Kingdom (2.6 times the average wage)

    The OECD report points out that even this form of comparison may not be entirely accurate because of different forms of bonuses, practice expenses, and other informal payments.

    Physicians in Hungary can earn 10 times less than doctors in other OECD countries. It is common for well trained physicians to receive only 270,000 HUF or $1,000 per month in Hungary.

    Other medical jobs in Hungary also have a relatively low salary including nurses and health administrators. Health workers can earn as little as 141,000 HUF or $520 per month.

    In terms of all European countries (including those not in the OECD), the only countries that may have a lower wage for doctors are Romania and Bulgaria.

    Lowest Paid Doctors in the World

    In many countries, physicians earn less than people in occupations that require less training and qualifications. In those countries, physicians are often regarded as public servants who do not need require high levels of compensation.

    It should be no surprise that developing nations pay their physicians the least. In many areas of China, for example, doctors are paid about 2,524 Yuan–$406 a month (, 2015). To give that some perspective, a hotel receptionist in China can earn 2,507 Yuan, or about $403 USD per month.

    Another country with extremely low salaries for doctors is Egypt. When physicians went on strike in 2011, they were earning $46 a month when working in a public hospital. Doctors in Egypt have made some ground since then, but are still paid very poorly compared to physicians in the rest of the world.

    Cuba pays physicians even less. The country also has one of the highest numbers of physicians (per capita) in the world (, 2015). Cuba has been training thousands of doctors every year for many decades and leads the world with the lowest patient to doctor ratio, 155:1, while the U.S. trails way behind at 396:1 (Souers, 2012). With a surplus of Cuban doctors, Cuba may feel less incentive or ability to pay physicians too much. Just a few years ago, Cuban doctors received an estimated wage of between $30 and $50 per month (Newman, 2012)—arguably the lowest paid doctors in the world. However, the climate in Cuba is changing for doctors. A year ago, the most qualified Cuban physicians (with two specialties) were able to earn up to $67 per month.

    It is always eye-opening and humbling to look at these figures. What could you ever afford with an income of $67 per month in the United States?


    In some countries, physicians make less than $800/year

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017

  2. Elmontasir

    Elmontasir Young Member

    Apr 1, 2017
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    Saudi Arabia
    In Sudan, doctors are getting about 66$ a month:(

  3. Rados

    Rados Young Member

    Jun 25, 2017
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    in Serbia, next to Hungary, it is 1,1 averege wage, it is 450 e

    Nada El Garhy likes this.

  4. Nwabo

    Nwabo Active member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    In Cameroon, its averagely $300/month

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