"Until 2027 we will have a shortage of doctors in some specialties"

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, transfers tranquility.

"Until 2027 we will have a shortage of doctors in some specialties"

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, transfers tranquility. She is not concerned about the increase in covid cases in the country because the disease is now less serious. Something for which it has been key, she highlights, "the very high vaccination level" of the population. 39 million people have received the full guideline. Yesterday Darias attended the inauguration of the National Congress of Transplant Coordinators in Bilbao, an appointment in which he took the opportunity to recognize the figure of Joseba Aranzabal, a pioneer in this work, responsible for this area in Osakidetza for more than three decades and a « inspiration for the national team.

- How do you assess the current moment of the pandemic with a progressive increase in infections? There are some experts who already speak of the seventh wave.

- The current moment of the pandemic is a turning point thanks to the very high level of vaccination that our country has, which, together with the new variants, has made the disease less serious. I give you a significant fact of this change. The Basque Country, a year ago now, had a cumulative incidence of 333 cases within fourteen days. It is now at 1,131 in those over 60 years of age. However, a year ago the ICUs had an occupancy rate of 32.9% and now they are at 4.4%. These are figures that speak for themselves.

- Since yesterday in France you no longer have to wear a mask on public transport. When will a similar measure be adopted here?

- On April 19 we approved a decree by which we relax the use of the mask indoors and keep it in those places recommended by experts. We will always go hand in hand. Gravity is what sets the measures, and the ones we have now are in accordance with the situation.

- Is there a date for the start of vaccination of the fourth dose in people over 80 years of age?

- The Conference on Vaccines tells us that, with the current epidemiological situation and durability studies, it does not seem that now is the time to administer it. We must also think about the arrival of a vaccine adapted to more optimal variants than the current one.

- When is that new serum expected?

- Surely it will be in 2022. It is what the clinical trials point out. It could be in the fall.

- According to a report from your ministry, 31.8% of family doctors in Spain and 16.3% of all specialists are 60 years of age or older. What plan do you manage to cover these places with new doctors so that the population is not affected?

- We already have the measures in place. Since Pedro Sánchez became president in 2018, we have increased the number of places in the calls for specialized health training by 32%. There is a clear commitment from the president to reverse the cuts of previous governments. The report allows us to know what the situation is that we are going to have between now and 2035 and to know which are the deficit specialties, such as family medicine and anesthesia, and which ones have a surplus. Until 2027 we will have difficulties. From then on, the templates will be rejuvenated as a result of the increase in specialized health training positions since Pedro Sánchez has been in government.

- And until 2027, what is going to be done, because Primary is still one of the last specialties chosen by the MIR?

- We have to go looking for alternative solutions. One of them is to make Family Medicine more attractive. For this, the current formation must be changed, which is excessively hospitable. We have to do a job of leadership and promote research in Primary Care. It is also being valued to include it in university education because it must be given a very important push.

- One of the main claims of health personnel is the high temporality that exists in public health services. What solutions do you foresee?

- The Government of Spain is determined to reduce temporary employment in the public sector, especially in the educational and health fields, which is where there is more interim employment. Law 20/2021 marks a clear roadmap, which goes through its reduction below 8%. There are two big blocks to put an end to seasonality. First of all, the here and now. In the National Health System, we will convene an exceptional competition without proof for all those people who have been working continuously since 2016 and then an OPE-competition for those who were working in the three years prior to December 2020.

- And the second?

- The modification of the framework statute so that this excessive temporality does not continue to occur in the future. We have already carried out the public consultation and we are holding meetings with the unions to have a text that is as consensual as possible.


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