The ‘cursed’ squares of Bierzo: Health closes the 2018 opposition of Family Medicine after being unable to cover five squares in a year and a half

Two health professionals in a hospital corridor. / Saint Saints

The Board decides to include the positions in the new process corresponding to the year 2019, so there are 60 vacancies only for the north of the province of León


The Ministry of Health has found its particular kryptonite in El Bierzo after five fixed positions in Family Medicine corresponding to the 2018 opposition have not been filled. After 19 months and six listings, the Board has decided to close the process selective that began in June 2020 with the publication of the first list of vacancies that were offered and the names of the applicants who had passed the test. Five positions that were to be filled with permanent statutory Family Doctor staff and that have now been added to the 710 positions that were published last Wednesday, corresponding to the 2019 opposition.

The ‘cursed’ squares are divided between the four in Villablino and one in Cacabelos. The 2018 opposition initially offered ten vacancies in Villablino, so only just over half have been filled, which shows that El Bierzo is an unappetizing place for medical professionals who give up working in the area , even if that means running out of a fixed position.

The Official Gazette of Castilla y León (Bocyl) published on January 13 the resolution of the Regional Health Management (Sacyl) with the appointment of permanent statutory personnel from the category of licensed specialist in Family and Community Medicine to two applicants for the destinations in the basic health zones of Cacabelos and Villablino, although five posts remained to be assigned. In this way and with the publication of the sixth list (the fifth complementary), the Ministry of Health resolved this selective process.

We must go back to June 2020 when the Board published the first list on June 12 in the Bocyl, which included the offer of the 302 places collected in the 2018 opposition of Family and Community Medicine. Unlike the previous call in 2016 in which they were all to work as an area physician, on that occasion they were a team. They were distributed among the 39 in the Ávila health area; 54 in Burgos; 41 in the León area; 39 in the Bierzo; another 39 in the health area of ​​Palencia; 22 more in Salamanca; 14 in Segovia; nine seats in Soria; and 45 beds in the Zamora health area.

Villablino, a clear example

From the first moment, the Ministry verified that the places in Bierzo were going to be difficult to cover because, list after list, they were always free. A year after the process of awarding places, eleven of the 39 that were initially assigned to the Leonese region still remained to be filled. These were vacancies in the basic health areas of Villablino (five posts), Bembibre (three), Puente Domingo Flórez (two) and Cacabelos (one). Now, at the end and after publishing six lists with the names of the 726 applicants who had approved the opposition, there are still five places to be awarded. They are doctors who approved this opposition but refuse to work in those consultations and choose to continue as interim staff considering that the vacancies offered by Sacyl do not interest them, either because they are in rural areas with poor communication or far from the place where they reside. nowadays.

These are, without a doubt, positions that are difficult to fill, which do not arouse the interest of professionals. A clear example is Villablino, which is 110 kilometers and an hour and a half by car from León, the same distance as Oviedo.

The long administrative process has generated that between the publication of the first list of applicants to cover the places, in June 2020, until the sixth and last, in January 2022, 19 months have passed.

Given the impossibility of finding candidates to take possession of the permanent positions in El Bierzo, the Ministry of Health has decided to include them in the 2019 opposition, which was once called with 710 positions. Specifically, there are four new places in Villablino and one in Cacabelos, as verified by the Ical Agency in the order published in the Bocyl last Wednesday.

Therefore, the Board trusts with the new process for awarding Family Medicine vacancies to alleviate the shortage of professionals in the north of the province of León. Not in vain, El Bierzo monopolizes 12.5 percent of the total places offered. The 60 positions are divided between the five area doctors (attached to a health zone instead of a health center to do shifts and substitutions) and the 55 team.

Along with the 19 vacancies in the different basic health zones of Ponferrada (I, II, III and IV), there are ten in Bembibre, seven in Fabero, another seven in Villablino, five in Villafranca del Bierzo, four in Cacabelos, two in Puente Domingo Flórez and one in Toreno.

Another proof of the difficulty of settling health professionals in certain territories is that in El Bierzo only two places have been filled in the last transfer contest among Family doctors compared to 43 in León, 56 in Valladolid (East and West ) and 37 from Salamanca, among others.

Difficult to fill positions

The secretary of Trade Union Action of the Federation of Health of Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) in Castilla y León, Salvador Escribano, stressed the real “fundamental problem” for which certain Family Medicine positions are not covered as they are difficult positions. community health coverage.

Not in vain, he assured the Ical Agency that these types of places in El Bierzo must be considered as such and for that there is decree law 1-2019 that in its title II spoke of the areas of difficult coverage and the way to encourage them, “Albeit minimally.” At the moment, he denounced, that the Board has not developed or advanced in its regulation. “It is not the best plan, but its implementation is a first step to improve it later,” he added.

Escribano urged to financially encourage these places that people do not want, but also to favor them, which involves giving these professionals a higher score when it comes to opting for transfer competitions and professional careers, access to courses and congresses and a flexibility of the Conciliation of work and family life.

The union official regretted that the Ministry complains about the lack of doctors, which sometimes prevents them from covering substitutions, but the reality is that many professionals have gone to other autonomous communities due to the better conditions they had in those places. In the end, it is the law of supply and demand because in certain specialties such as Family Medicine, interim professionals can afford to give up a position and continue their work in a more attractive practice with more resources or be close to your residence for a “foreseeable” long period. “A few years ago, all the positions of each opposition were covered, but now the situation has changed and there are people who prefer to work as an interim instead of having a permanent position,” he concluded.

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