Retirements, lack of MIRs, strikes… health is suffering due to shortage of doctors
Controversy around 80 emergency centers in the community of Madrid; Primary care professionals strike in Cantabria; Prohibition of Family doctor in Navarra and Aragón And, in general, in most autonomous communities. The Spanish National Health System, the crown jewel of the welfare system, is beginning to come apart at the seams. And perhaps his biggest problem, and politicians and health professionals of all stripes agree here, is that “There is a shortage of doctors”. Even the Ministry of Health itself has admitted in a recent study that Spain will face a shortage of another 9,000 doctors in five years and around 20,000 over the next decade.
But the problem does not stop there. About 80 thousand doctors are going to retire in the next ten to twelve years. According to a report prepared by the Andalusian Medical Union. The number of doctors retiring each year over the next decade is between 7,000 and 8,000. And there are currently about 80,000 professionals over the age of 55, 34% of whom are active. And besides, that’s the problem “They cannot be replaced” because there are insufficient doctors who complete the MIR every year.
“The cutbacks in the previous crisis had a huge impact on vacancy calls For training of graduates/licensees/graduates as specialists through residency system (MIR, EIR, FIR, QUIR, BIR, PIR and RDIR), explains Vincent Matas, from the study center of the aforementioned Andalusian Medical Union. “And in these years it has been shown that this was a serious mistake by the health services of the Spanish government and the autonomous communities. Now it was noticed and corrected, but too late, when reality imposed itself and We don’t have multi-specialty doctorsTo fill the vacant positions due to the large number of retirements and yet, paradoxically, we have a bag of about 3,000 non-specialist doctors who have ended up in our faculties in recent years and have not been placed. resident
“There is a shortage of doctors with different specialties”, anesthesiology, geriatrics, neurology, family medicine, “and ‘many’ medical graduates who could not access MIR training,” the study indicates. Something that contrasts with the Pedro Sánchez government’s initiative to create more places for students, when Spain already has one of the most medical schools in the world. Meanwhile, the “MIR funnel” remains, from which 4,000 graduates are excluded in the last call. Despite this, and according to Eurostat, Spain is one of the European countries with the most doctors per 100,000 inhabitants. Specifically, 457.
In May this year, 6,478 doctors completed the MIR; In 2023, a maximum of 6,743 and 7,496 in 2024, insufficient amounts to have an adequate replacement rate. The problem also persists and “MIR 2022 seat allotment”, 8,188 seats were tendered, “More than 200 vacancies in four different specialties will be recalled. Specifically, it features eight seats, preventive medicine and public health, as well as 8, microbiology and parasitology, one, and family medicine, which could not allocate 200 seats out of 2,336 for this call. Assignment started. This fact is considered a real defeat of the national health system since then 217 experts will stop training in next 4 years, And especially for the 200 primary care doctors, the sector that will need more doctors in the next 15 years due to the retirement wave that marks the health population”, he says from the State Confederation of Medical Unions.
“But this is so apart from the doctors who finally complete the MIR Every year there is a significant number who leave their countries of origin Or they go to neighboring countries where they are offered better, more stable contracts with better working conditions and better salaries”, explains the president of the General Council of Official Medical Associations, Thomas Cobb.
“The main problem of the medical profession in Spain and of our entire health system” Cobo continues, “is not only the severe lack of professionals, but also the contracts and job insecurity they have, especially the youngest and those. Creates a refusal to do business with our colleagues Which requires, at a minimum, a higher grade to obtain a medical degree and at least eleven years of training to be able to begin practice. Shortage of professionals is described as a “real problem of the state”. Henry RuizHead of Community Health of Madrid.
“The problem is not only the lack of professionals, but also the contracts and job insecurity they suffer”
In this sense, since 2011 there are 31,149 medical specialists who Certificate of eligibility to be able to leave Spain to practice and it is estimated that “about 20,000” of them are doctors who have moved to other countries to practice their work. “The MIR system in Spain trains excellent medical specialists, who are highly valued worldwide. On the other hand, job offers from our health services, temporary contracts, part-time contracts, even for months, weeks, days… Thus, our young medical experts accept indefinite contracts with good work, professional and remuneration conditions in the countries. Our environment”, says Vicente Matus. The highest number of applications for certificates of fitness, 64%, are for work reasons. Family medicine, anesthesiology and paediatrics are the most requested specialties and the main destination countries are the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy and Germany.
This ‘crack’ in our health system is a serious problem “It affects the health of citizens”Experts explain. And in this sense, a real case from now, without specifying the community, because “the problem affects everyone equally”, perfectly reflects the “properties” and “shortcomings” of the model that “prioritized hospital care to the detriment of primary care. , general medicine And in both characteristics”, they conclude from associations of primary care doctors to La Información.
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