6 Jun, 2024 @ 12:54
1 min read

Health service warning in Spain: This summer will be ‘very difficult’ due to lack of doctors, say industry leaders

Health service warning in Spain: This summer will be ‘very difficult’ due to lack of doctors, say industry leaders

DOCTOR shortages will force health centre closures in Spain this summer, according to regional health ministers.

They’ve accused the country’s health minister, Monica Garcia, of not doing enough to solve the problem, while Garcia countered by stating the 17 regions should have contingency plans to deal with the issue.

The minister said that most of them ‘had done their homework’ and will be able to handle the situation.

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MONICA GARCIA(La Moncloa image)

The Basque Country and Catalunya are already having to close health centres, with Andalucian minister, Catalina Garcia, saying that ‘we want to keep them open, but we are facing a very difficult situation’.

Her Valencian counterpart, Marciano Gomez, warned that the doctor shortage puts at risk the opening of 54 auxiliary centres and fully covering staff in 70 health centres in the coming months.

The Valencian region has more than 600 vacant doctors’ positions, and Gomez said he told Monica Garcia ‘months ago’ that ‘the structural problem of a lack of professionals would worsen this summer if she did not provide solutions to have fourth-year trainee resident doctors doing some tasks’.

Normally, the regions could hire the residents in the summer to work as specialists but delays in their training caused by the Covid-19 pandemic means they have not yet qualified.

The Ministry of Health says the trainees cannot work unsupervised in facilities, with Garcia saying she cannot bend the rules.

Juan Carlos Blazquez, President of the Basque Country College of Physicians, said: “Patients are already complaining and I don’t even want to think about what it will be like in the summer when many doctors go on vacation.”

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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