The Order of Doctors (OM) today urged the Ministry of Health to "immediately open" tenders for hiring the 1300 doctors who completed the specialty and accuses the Government of "lack of strategy, planning and ambition".
In a note released today, the OM expresses "great apprehension" for the "lack of opening hiring tenders" to fix these 1.300 newly specialized doctors in the National Health Service (SNS) and considers that this delay generates demotivation.
This feeling – he emphasizes – is «aggravated by the information that the Ministry of Health estimates to hire only 200 of the 355 family doctors (FM), one of several areas in which the public sector has serious shortages of human resources».
«These are very negative signs that make us extremely apprehensive. In addition to 155 family doctors, how many more of these 1.300 newly trained specialists does the Ministry intend to leave out of the SNS?
Over the years – he insists – the Order of Doctors «has witnessed the erection of successive barriers» that contribute to keeping doctors, specialists and non-specialists, away from the SNS.
«It is an attack on the health of the Portuguese, to whom successive governments have promised a family doctor, but it is also a disrespect for doctors who have dedicated several years to studying and working to specialize», he adds.
In the note, the OM also warns that, "if this lack of strategy, planning and ambition continues", the shortage of human capital could worsen "to the point of no return".
He insists that, "to stop the degradation of the response in health care", it is essential that the SNS gives the services the opportunity to retain the 1.300 newly specialists, with attractive conditions that guarantee the permanence of the newest ones and the renewal of the teams.
Thus, the Order urges the Ministry of Health to immediately open tenders to hire these new specialists, to open vacancies in all units where there is a shortage of specialists and where there are users without a family doctor, to hire all new specialists for the SNS. specialists in General and Family Medicine (FGM) available and create conditions that enhance the fixation of specialists in the SNS.
“Primary Health Care with sufficient human resources is the only way to have a less “hospital-centric” health system that responds to the needs of the population”, he underlines.
The chairman also regrets that in Portugal there are more than 1,6 million people without a family doctor", stressing that this situation shows "the inability of policymakers to plan".
The OM also recalls that a health system in which all sectors are valued cannot translate into the devaluation of the public sector, and much less into disrespect for doctors' dedication to the SNS.
«An SNS ensured by doctors without a contractual bond is a precarious SNS, in the long term”, says the Order, adding: “We demand more ambition from those who have the duty to protect the constitutional right to health. (…) As a representative of all doctors, don't expect me to agree with anyone who seems to want to leave the SNS».