They denounce saturated agendas and poor working conditions in a region that has the lowest spending in the country on this first level of care.
The doctors and pediatricians of Primary Care of the Community of Madrid begin an indefinite strike this Monday to demand improvements in the labor and in the provision of service in the face of a situation that they denounce is critical.
They are called to second this strike 4,240 family doctors and 720 pediatricians that serve the population of the region, which exceeds six million inhabitants.
During this first day, the convening union, the Association of Physicians and Higher Graduates of Madrid (AMYTS), has also organized a rally in front of the Primary Care Management.
The strike begins barely a week after the massive manifestation That celebrated in the Spanish capital on Sunday, November 13. Convened by the neighborhood associations of the region, the capacity exceeded the 600,000 peopleaccording to the organizers, who took to the streets to demand improvements in public health in Madrid.
Infinite agendas and few minutes per patient
Health professionals denounce the overload that they have been carrying for years in their jobs. So most of them have daily agendas with between 50 and 60 patientswhich sometimes multiply when taking care of the patients assigned to colleagues on sick leave.
Given these figures, they demand that the number of patients be reduced to a maximum of 31 in the case of family doctors and 21 for pediatricians.
Figures that would make it possible to meet their other great demand: the increase in time to attend to each of the public health users, extending up to 10 minutes in the case of adults and up to 15 minutes for minors. 14 years.
The Ministry of Health has established as minimum services two doctors and one pediatrician for those health centers that have four or more physicians on staff and one doctor and one pediatrician for those that have less than four.
This circumstance allows health professionals to second the strike call, unlike the starring two weeks ago by extra-hospital emergency workers, for whom minimum services of 100% were set.
In any case, AMYTS, the majority union among medical personnel in this territory, has asked for the support of the public, suggesting that postpone consultations that are not absolutely necessary since they anticipate that the situation will be complicated during the next days.
An increase in investment and human resources is required
Among the requests of the convening union organization is also the increase in investment and the number of professionals in this sector, which is the first level of health care for citizens.
AMYTS considers that this problem must be faced by improving the working conditions of doctors to avoid the flight of professionals from the Community of Madrid to other regions and other countries.
In the last two years, of the 443 new family doctors who finished their residency in Madrid, only 37 stayed in the region. In the case of pediatricians, of the 155 who finished their training in 2021 and 2022, only six they stayed in this territory.
With these data, the 20% of medical consultations are not coveredwhich means that the doctors who remain in the region have an even greater work overload and continue to choose to go to other places with better conditions to practice their profession, according to the denouncement of the convening union.
The Ministry says that it is invested
For its part, the Ministry led by Enrique Ruiz Escudero maintains that some of the demands of the strike committee are already being addressed in the Comprehensive Plan for the Improvement of Primary Care 2022-2023.
This plan would contemplate an investment of €200 million intended for measures such as the creation of 1,200 jobs in different professional categories, as well as wage improvements, infrastructure and digitization of consultations.
In addition, the Ministry of Health highlights that for the next financial year investment in Primary Care will increase to reach 2,444 million euros, a 22.2% increase (444 million euros).
The Community of Madrid is the second Spanish region with the fewest Primary Care professionals–only behind the Balearic Islands–, with 0.68 per 1,000 inhabitants, and far from the 1.07 of Castilla y León, which leads the classification.
In addition, Madrid is the Autonomous Community that less percentage of its GDP goes to Health, 4.7%, more than two points below the national average, which is 6.9%. It is also the second with the lowest healthcare expenditure per inhabitant, with 1,491 euros per year.
In addition, the percentage of public spending that Madrid allocates to Primary Care is the lowest since there are data and the lowest in the entire country: only 10.6% of investment in health is allocated to this first level of care. care.
“Not even a little close”
According to the statements of the spokesperson for the strike committee after the contact last Friday with the Ministry of Health, there is still “not even a small rapprochement” between the parties.
Although the positions are very far apart, the negotiations are not considered broken and it is hoped that an agreement can be reached that alleviates the situation in the sector.
The conveners denounce that the resounding ‘no’ of the administration to increase financing on some points is the biggest obstacle that hinders the talks.
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