An exciting time for doctors

Malede Birara

Malede Birara

His parents, brother and even his wife think he’s foolish for not practicing medicine at a private clinic, where he could be making six to seven times more money. But Malede Birara has no plans to leave his job as a physician in the OB-GYN department at St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa.

He’s staying because he wants to continue doing research. “There are few private hospitals that give you the opportunity to grow in your academic area, “ he said.

St. Paul’s provides him housing. He owns a car. And he can easily pay all his bills.

Still, Birara’s choice to remain in Ethiopia is unusual among his peers. Brain drain has been a serious problem in the region. Many doctors have left the countries to work in major U.S. cities, like Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Birara doesn’t believe money was the primary factor motivating doctors to leave Ethiopia. He thinks the most important thing for doctors is having a satisfying work environment – a place with good resources, equipment, training and opportunities to develop.

Ethiopia’s government is beginning to understand that now. “I see a bright future, “ Birara said.

During the past 20 years or so, the government’s top priority was the prevention of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, he said. Most resources went to lower-level medical staff.

But in the past two years, the priorities have shifted to developing hospitals and expanding specialty training, Birara said.

“In our OB-GYN department two years ago, we had three people,” he said. “Now we have nine.”

It’s an exciting and hopeful time for Birara. “We expect more and more.”


16 thoughts on “An exciting time for doctors

  1. Yes Ethiopia is Now On the Rise i am a New graduate Compute Engineer i had the chance to work abroad to But Yes I believe i can achieve my dream starting from Ethiopia .


  2. Malede Birara was a role model for many of us in our surrounding when we all were kids! He was tough & grade A student at DAMOT, FINOTESELAM! And finally he scored straight four which helped him join School of Medicine at Jimma University, Ethiopia!! As a physician, he could really have earned lots of money at private health institutions but wants to live up to his commitment to primly serve needy clients mostly in governmental health institutions such as he is working right now!! The best mind merely considers the interest of a nation instead of self-interest!! That is why Dr Maled Birara puts it into practice which many of us can not!! Hope he will brilliantly do many health-related duties if we have time to see!! I am absolutely proud of you, Dr Malede Birara!! Log live to you & our motherland, Ethiopia!!


  3. Proud of this man! I myself have obtained degree from foreign university few years back. I always dream for leaving Ethiopia. It is not because I don’t have a job here….It is because, I am not satisfied with the amount of the payments I have been earning. This man is REALLY a hero. I understand now that my decision was a mistake. No need to leave for anywhere. We have to serve our motherland whatsoever is the amount of payment we have earned.


  4. I believe that Dr. Has understood money doesnt always make you the best person you want to be .Rather doing what you believe makes you the happiest and succesful person. You will see and you are better than those who dream abroad .


  5. I am very confident and happy with you Malede of-course I knew we have few professionals loving serving their countries !
    Malede I knew you are very progressive since High school !
    I am not very surprise with your commitment b/s you are Loving your COUNTRY people and hope you are role model for those professionals serving foreign countries !!
    Wish You Success On Your Day-to-day endeavor !!


  6. Guys lets not kid ourselves. my problem isn’t wz Dr Malede but z corrupt Ethiopian govt.

    In my hospital, z Health Officer who is CEO of z hospital , assigned b\c of his political view, is literally a millionaire while z doctors with superior academic level earn 3414 as a starting payment.

    Every physician wants to serve z country & every high level professional for that matter. But they can’t help it but to leave their country with all bad administration & governance.prevalent in z country.

    Ethiopia can pay its doctors much more than what it’s paying currently. z problem is z money is spent elsewhere by corrupt officials.

    Do u know zt South Sudan pays a minimum of about 1500$ per month for General Practitioner & Ethiopian doctors are working there. There is no reason Ethiopia can’t pay this much with “double digit” growth each year.


  7. Great to see someone is trying to do his part despite the challenges. We need more of such people. Most of the professionals and educated people are mostly leaving the country because the system that is corrupt and lacking good governance. It’s not that the money we get is enough or not enough, but it is unfair to see someone who did not do anything so serve his country is getting ten to twenty times more earnings and you can do nothing about it unless you become corrupt like him or leave the country. What Malede has achieved is more than just serving his country and I am proud of him. I hope he is not politically involved. Our government really needs to work on good governance and attitude change especially with the lower level officials. I think they are the biggest challenge for the government. Please let’s not forget all the great things the government has achieved so far and I thank the government for that.


  8. Dr Malede is a good role model for many of us who have been thinking about our future generations!!!!
    Keep it up!!!!


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