For the purposes of the Health Services Organisation Act, health care professionals are doctors, dentists, nurses, and midwives if they are registered with the Health Board. For the purposes of the Medicinal Products Act, health care professionals are pharmacists and assistant pharmacists providing pharmacy services in general pharmacies or hospital pharmacies.
Studying to become a health care professional
In Estonia, you can study to be become a doctor, pharmacist, assistant pharmacist, and physiotherapist in the field of medical sciences at the University of Tartu. More information on studying and continuing education can be found on the website of the University of Tartu.
You can study to become a nurse, midwife, physiotherapist, carer, etc., at Tallinn and Tartu Health Care Colleges. More information on studying and continuing education can be found on the websites of Tallinn Health Care College and Tartu Health Care College.
In 2016, a consensus agreement for nurses and midwives (PDF)was concluded between the health care colleges, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Estonian Hospitals Association, the Estonian Nurses Association, and the Estonian Association of Midwives to increase the number of study places for nurses and midwives between 2017 and 2020.
Registering as a health care professional
All doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists working in Estonia must be registered in the registry of health care professionals of the Health Board and for this, an application (PDF) must be submitted to the Health Board. The Health Board checks the requirements for training and qualifications of the employees and then makes the decision whether to issue a certificate of registration or ask for additional documents to be submitted.
Health care professionals who have acquired their qualifications abroad can also be employed in Estonia. For additional information visit the website of the Health Board.
Beginner’s allowance for medical specialists
The objective of the beginner’s allowance is to motivate starting medical specialists, including family doctors, to commence work in places in Estonia where it has proved to be difficult in practice to find qualified doctors. The amount of the beginner’s allowance is 15,000 euros regardless of the number of applicants.
The beginner’s allowance provides support for medical specialists who commence work in a general, local or central hospital in five years after completing a residency or commence work as a family doctor outside Tallinn and Tartu and their adjacent areas.
Who can apply for the beginner’s allowance?
The beginner’s allowance may be applied for within three months after commencing work or practice in the acquired speciality by a medical specialist.
The beginner’s allowance may be applied for by a medical specialist who:
- has completed residency and acquired the speciality of family medicine or a speciality of specialised medical care required for the provision of compulsory health services at a central, general or local hospital pursuant to the requirements for types of hospitals established under subsection 22 (4) of the Health Services Organisation Act;
- commences work or practice in the acquired speciality as a medical specialist within five years from the completion of residency, and;
- works as a medical specialist with the workload of at least thirty hours a week or works or practices as a family doctor with a practice list.
The application must include
- the name, surname, personal identification code, place of residence, telephone number, and bank account number of the applicant;
- the year of graduation from a residency and the acquired medical speciality;
- the number of the registration certificate of the applicant as a health care professional;
- the date or dates of entry into or departure from specialised medical care;
- the consent of the applicant to the ministry to obtain data from third parties to check the circumstances serving as bases for the application and use of the beginner’s allowance;
- the applicant’s email address and an indication of the acceptance of the applicant to receive the decision whether the applicant has or has not been granted the beginner’s allowance electronically, if the applicant agrees to have the decision delivered electronically.
Submission of application and more information
The application can be sent or submitted to Suur-Ameerika 1, 10122 Tallinn, or by e-mail in a digitally signed format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can be obtained from the Health System Development Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs.