Is Spain in deficit of health personnel?

Health professionals in a consultation.

A scientific journal article The Lancet warns that the health systems of the planet are in a unsustainable situation. Scientists Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Komattil Ramnarayan and Ana Olga Mocumbi, who are the ones who sign the text, point to the current “chronic shortage” of health workers worldwide, although they point out that in the last decade there has been progress in terms of stabilization of the system.

Spain, for example, lives in an intermediate situation. On the one hand, he suffers flight of professionals who mostly emigrate to countries like United KingdomIreland and Germany according to the General Council of Official Colleges of Physicians (cgcom), but on the other hand, fills these vacancies to a large extent by doctors who come from Latin America.

The article indicates that globally, in the last ten years, the annual amount of Medicine graduates has almost doubled, and tripled Nursing graduates. A positive trend per se, since the article underlines that this increase in graduates has helped reduce staff deficit sanitary.

However, they affect the gap between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries. In the former, 6.5 times more doctors graduate than in the latter.

The case of Spain

Spain invested a 7.8 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to public health spending in 2020, according to data from the Ministry of Health. That is 88,063 million euros were referred to Health in the first year of the pandemic. That game translates into a expenditure of 1,859 euros per inhabitant. An expense that is in the middle part of the per capita expense of the member countries of the European Union (EU); in the post thirteenthalso joining the United Kingdom to that list of 28 European countries.

Luxembourg, Denmark and Sweden are, in that order, the EU countries that invest the most in health per inhabitant, with 5,045 euros, 4,797 euros and 4,538 euros, respectively. At the bottom are Bulgaria with 476 euros, Romania with 564 euros and Poland with 616 euros.

salary comparison

On average, a doctor in Spain charges about 54,200 euros gross per year in public health. Compared with the most developed countries, it would be one of the lowest salariessince according to various portals, in Germany a specialist earns an average of 75,000 euros per year, 74,213 euros in the United Kingdom and 240,406 euros in the United States.

In less developed countries, the doctor’s salary goes down. In India, for example, they do not exceed 12,000 euros per year according to various portals in the sector, and in South Africa, that figure would be about 35,000 euros annual.

Spain, therefore, is set as low-middle income country to which the annual salary of a doctor refers, although it would lead the ranking of that group.

Migration of professionals

The article published in The Lancet stresses that the economic, social and political instability in many low- and middle-income countries new waves of migration of toilets, adding to the pressure on already overburdened systems in those countries. The movement of professionals migrating to high-income countries and the change of practitioners from the public to the private sector, endanger health systemsaccording to the scientists who sign said article.

They put figures to the phenomenon. And it is that the 15 percent of health workers are pursuing their careers outside their country of birth or training. It is a problem, they warn, of low-income countries like Nigeria, since a year about 2,000 doctors leave the African region in search of better opportunities, leaving the ratio in four doctors for every 10,000 inhabitants.

Economic losses

The transfer of health professionals from public to private hospitals It is no less a problem for the health system. In the article published in The Lancet, the three researchers emphasize that this movement has several factors. Among them are the poor working conditionsinsufficient opportunities for a professional career, inadequate infrastructure for research and political instability.

One of the consequences of this movement from the public to the private supposes for the States large monetary losses. For example, in South Africa, a middle-income country, the migration of its health professionals represents a economic hole of about 1.44 billion of euros. They are workers who have been trained in the country, but who later go to other places to pursue their professional careers. This displacement is what supposes a significant cost to the countries of origin such as South Africa, since they do not receive in their public coffers the money invested in training of some of its professionals.

In Spain, according to the General Council of Official Colleges of Physicians (Cgcom), last year a total of 2,504 doctors left the country. Nevertheless, 4,293 doctors arrived in the Statewhich leaves a positive balance of 1,789 restrooms. A positive figure to nurture the National Health System (SNS) of professionals. The majority of them They arrived from ArgentinaColombia and Ecuador.

Faced with the difficult situation of coping with losses in low- and middle-income countries, the article published in The Lancet affects, as a solution to the problem, in resourcing health systems. Without this support for its professionals and without offering them competitive conditions with the private sector, the health system will end up costing lives and moneysentence.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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