Health

Interview with Barber about the shortage of doctors in Spain

Patricia Barber Pérez, author of the ‘Supply-Need Report for Medical Specialists 2021-2025’.

It is impossible to plan well the medical templates when the number of health professionals we have is not even known for sure”. Patricia Barber Perezone of the authors of the ‘Supply-Need Report for Medical Specialists 2021-2025’, prepared together with Beatriz González López-Valcárcel.

Barber believes that it is “very important that the State Registry of Health Professionals is launchedsince we know that it is in a very early stage“. The researcher of the ‘Health Economics and Public Policies’ Group of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria assures that for the time being this Registry is based on information on public employment in the autonomous communities, although “many of them have not provided data”. In addition, he criticizes that the details of the health professionals of the Private sanity are also unknown.

“Is a basic tool for planning and coordinatingwe have been doing this for many years and it is necessary for a truly developed country to have the Registry”, adds Barber. Regarding the recently published report, the professor of the Department of Quantitative Methods in Economics and Management trusts that “clear decisions will be made based on to the action plan.

What do Health and the CCAA think about the report?

Barber and González presented the report on Thursday, March 3, before the Ministry of Health and the autonomous communities in the Interterritorial Council. According to Barber, this work has been carried out side by side with the Ministry and “they want to make him the beacon of planning for the next few years.”

The authors have not yet been able to speak with the different Ministers of Health to receive their assessment of the report, although they know that both the autonomous communities and the Ministry continue to hold meetings to put on the table the action plan to undertake.

Measures against the lack of doctors in Spain

Regarding the conclusions of the report, Barber details that “we cannot speak of all the specialties as one because there are specialties such as Family Medicine, in which the situation of the medical staff is beginning to be worrying, and others with a surplus“. The researcher highlights as a key factor the population projections of the National Institute of Statistics, which estimate that the difference of two million people between those under 15 years of age and those over 75 will be reduced to similarities in 2035.

For this reason, “specialties that in previous reports were expected to be deficient in the future, such as Pediatrics, will no longer be so and will be more necessary specialists dedicated to chronic diseases and health problems related to the aging population.

The report highlights the main measures that must be taken to carry out the planning of health professionals and forecasts that the National Health System will have more than 214,000 doctors in 2035. First of all, Barber points out that one of the initiatives that must be taken into account is increase the number of medicine placesdue to the current shortage of professionals and because the same approved titles as graduates are not accredited.

The researcher also points to continue increasing the number of MIR places, especially in Family Medicine, and motivate retention and make working conditions, in addition to salary, more flexible, so that young people “choose positions in specialties that are less professionally attractive or in rural and peripheral areas.” Finally, Barber concludes that the homologation process must be reformulated to do it “according to the needs and not to anyone”.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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