By Boyko Vassilev, Lucie Kavanova, Anita Komuves, Wojciech Kosc, Sinziana Demian and Pavol Szalai
[As we look at how life has changed – or stayed the same – over the past 20 years, TOL correspondents in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania asked people in various professions to describe their working life today compared with conditions before 1989. This collection of interviews with doctors is the third in the series that resulted.
MARIETTA GECHEVA, 47, BULGARIA
Gecheva, a radiologist who specializes in endoscopy, worked in the Pirogov emergency hospital before and after 1989. For the past nine years, she and her husband have run a private clinic.
Some doctors profited from the change. Among the successful were those who could afford to join a good medical institution that functions absolutely professionally, without professional compromises. But that’s only a few people. That happened with [me and my husband], because we had the chance to have some land restituted, which allowed us to found our clinic. If the restitution hadn’t happened, we would have been working in state hospitals. Don’t get me wrong, they have good specialists as well, even extraordinarily high level medics. However, the financial problems in state hospitals matter and make things difficult for these specialists. The Hippocratic oath is fine, but it can’t do what machines can. And for that, you need money. Continue reading …