Spain’s health service crisis worsens thanks to migrating doctors

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The Spanish Health Service potentially faces a doctor shortage as more doctors seek work abroad. Credit: Pixabay


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According to data from the Collegiate Medical Organisation (WTO) more than 2,500 doctors have submitted applications to relocate abroad to seek employment.

More than five years of funding cuts, forced retirement and restrictions on the number of MIRs have left the Spanish health service at a critical level of staffing, and with the impending retirement of over 45,000 doctors who started work back in the boom in the 1980s, the situation is only due to get worse.

The strain that the lack of proper staffing puts on its resident doctors has led a record number of doctors abandoning the Spanish system and seeking employment abroad, mainly in France and the UK.

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The majority of the 2,540 certificates of suitability have been issued to doctors wishing to continue roles abroad at 66 per cent. The remaining percentage covers doctors working in cooperation, individual procedures and for further studies.

When it comes to doctors wishing to remain in Spain, the province with the most certificates issued is the Catalonia region with 567, which overtakes Madrid (510) as the most desirable area to work. Andalucia (354) sits in third with Valencia (210) in fourth.

For those wanting to work abroad, France and the UK are the most desired destinations, with 392 and 366 certificates issued respectively. Ireland (188), Italy (188) and Germany (105) also appear in the statistics.

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