Doctors from all over Spain have been concentrated this Thursday in front of the Ministry of Health and Consumption to demand work improvements that allow them to guarantee the quality of patient care and "dignify the profession". In the Plaza de las Cortes, in front of the Congress of Deputies, the representatives of the organizing associations of the march have read a manifesto in which they have listed the main problems that afflict the Spanish health, such as the lack of 2,700 family doctors and pediatricians or the denunciation of their precarious working conditions with a large number of temporary contracts. Some 1,500 people have participated, according to the organizers.
Although it was not planned, the Minister of Health, Maria Luisa Carcedo, has received the president and secretary general of the State Confederation of Medical Trade Unions (CESM), Tomás Toranzo and Francisco Miralles, respectively. The person in charge of the Collegial Medical Organization (OMC) Serafín Romero also attended the brief meeting. Carcedo has ensured that the ministry is "sensitive" to the demands of professionals in the sector, so its goal is "to continue strengthening the National Health System and the quality of services." In this sense, the minister has referred to the increase of MIR places or the primary care reform plan.
The representatives of the associations organizing the protest (WTO, CEEM, CESM, CNECS and the Federation of Physicians) demand a model of stable and sufficient funding that ensures adequate human and technical resources to care for patients. "The financing of the system is our main concern, the doctors are overworked due to lack of personnel", said Gabriel del Pozo Sosa, deputy secretary general of the medical union AMYTS (Association of Physicians and Graduates of Madrid).
The Job insecurity has become another of the main reasons for struggle of the sector. According to the manifesto, 40% of professionals do not have a place in property. "There are numerous interns and a significant and growing percentage of colleagues with casual and precarious contracts," the statement said. "In Spain there are no decent working conditions for doctors who are joining the profession, the youngest face temporary work and low salaries, many decide to go to other countries to work in order to have better working conditions", explains Alicia Martín López, a primary care physician since 19 and a member of AMYTS.
Doctors say that precarious working conditions result in worse patient care. "This demonstration not only has a corporate nature, no matter how legitimate our claims may be, we also want to offer the best service to patients to remain one of the leading countries in health," recalled one of the spokesmen for the doctors. in the reading of the manifesto. "We can only dedicate four or five minutes to each patient and we can reach 60 people in a day," says Dr. Martín López.
"We have had an extra pay cut of 41% since 2008. We have not recovered one of the working conditions that we lost during the crisis," says Dr. Gracia García, with more than 30 years of profession. This professional has come from Aragon to participate in the protest. The doctors have also demanded an improvement in the management of the positions of MIR and of the necessary professionals in the sector. "The Ministry of Health has to better plan the professional careers of doctors and reward in some way those who offer to serve for some time in small and unpopulated areas, and now is committed the generational change in the sector," says the primary care doctor Inmaculada Molina. In this sense, they ask for a flexible and voluntary retirement between 60 and 70 years.
For all these reasons, the general secretary of the CESM has warned that if their claims are not dealt with, other more drastic measures will be taken, taking the example of communities "where strikes are called".