New government carrot to attract doctors to the Faroe Islands

For a long time now, the recruitment and retention of doctors in the more outlying parts of Denmark has been a problem

In a bid to provide better medical coverage for people living in the Faroe Islands, the minister of health has decided to establish a priority system for one of the cornerstone courses of a doctor’s training.

The KBU, or basic clinical training, is something doctors take after they have finished their academic studies at university. Among other things, it allows them to decide which areas they wish to specialise in.

Because course space in the Faroes is limited, Faroese doctors have often had to leave the islands to take the KBU, and when they have it, they don’t usually return.

Getting a headstart
The minister is setting up a special system that allows the application procedure for the 10 places per year available on the islands to be open 11 months earlier to applicants from the Faroes who speak and write the language.

“If we can give the young Faroese doctors an advantage when it comes to obtaining an educational place in the Faroes, then with luck we will be able to retain them and thus provide better coverage for the benefit of the islanders,” said the health minister, Ellen Trane Nørby.

Any places not taken up will then be returned to the common pool that can be applied for by all medical students in Denmark.

The new initiative is expected to come into operation from March 2019.