THE decision to hire ‘rookie’ doctors and non-EU trainees by Royal Decree has been met with furious opposition by health workers in Spain.

The plans, announced on Tuesday, gave special provisions for hospitals to hire newly qualified doctors, who have yet to receive their MIR qualifications, to ease the workload currently placed on ever growing ICU numbers.

The new decree will also allow the hiring of non-EU students studying in Spain that have recently completed their courses.

Following the announcement, medical societies and unions have denounced the news as ‘potentially dangerous to public health’.

The relaxing of employment criteria has allowed approximately 10,000 new personnel to become available.

Doctor unions argue that the scheme should not have been needed as the hospitals have been crying out for more professionals for a number of years, and that the decree amendment is a ‘hasty solution to an age-old problem.’

“Not just any doctor can do the work of a specialised physician,” said a spokesman for the Forum of Primary Care Workers.

The union claims the decree capitalises on the situation faced by doctors for many years to simply grab a headline in the media, and that they were not considered when drafting the document.

“The opinion of professionals has not been taken into account and they have not been informed before approving this rule,” said the General Council of Medical Associations (CGCOM).

“Salvador Illa and his team pushed through the draft without the appropriate negotiating and without bringing it to the National Health System board.”

The decree came into force yesterday as the country became the country with the highest infection rate globally.

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