Irish Dream or Illusion? Osijek Doctor Returns to Croatia From Ireland

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of November, 2019, following the surge in Croatian nationals heading abroad, which has been and continues to be extensively monitored by the media, there is a growing trend of returning people who have experienced life and work for several years in Western Europe, yet decide to return home to Croatia and try their luck again here at home.

The fact that this trend of return doesn’t solely regard people who have gone to Ireland to work in positions that don’t require higher education is evidenced by the case of Dr. Delalle, a psychiatrist from Osijek who after three years in Ireland, decided to return home to a Croatian institution, more specifically to KBC Osijek.

According to Glas Slavonije, this doctor, who worked at the aforementioned Osijek hospital since 1986, and was head of child psychiatry at KBC Osijek from 2003 to 2015, says openly that the reason for her departure has never been dissatisfaction with the institution or system, but was solely because of family and financial reasons, and of course, the idea also came from a dose of professional curiosity.

”Within a month, I got a job at an Irish Government hospital, but it was a 45-minute bus and train ride and then another four miles on foot. All this is quite exhausting at my age, especially when you come from Osijek, where everything is at your fingertips,” recalls Dr. Delalle when recalling some of the problems there.

This psychiatrist also worked for a while in the department for child and adolescent psychiatry in a public government hospital, and although she was initially very enthusiastic, disappointment with the system quickly followed.

In the end, she resigned from this institution, worked for a while in various other institutions, but nostalgia to return home to Croatia still prevailed.

”Financially, there were high incomes and as a psychiatrist you could earn about 5,000 euros a month there, but housing is very expensive and when you pay all the expenses, you’re left with an only slightly higher income than you get in Croatia. For a doctor with scientific titles, length of service and on-call duty can also bring you a very nice income here.

It was interesting to go there, see it, experience it all, but I became nostalgic. I wanted to be close to my family and friends again, be where my home was. Thanks to the understanding of the director of KBC Osijek, I was given the opportunity to work at the Clinic for Psychiatry at KBC Osijek again.

”This is an experience that can enrich everyone, but in the end you see that despite all of Croatia’s flaws, our system is still much more accessible, more professional, and significantly more empathetic to the needs of the patient,” Dr. Delalle concluded.

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