The Minister of Health announced three weeks ago that she would put an end to 24-hour medical guards in this legislature for being an “anachronism that puts rest, conciliation and mental health at risk.” This Wednesday, Mónica García has given more details about her plan: the Ministry’s idea is to propose a first reduction until 5 p.m. without there being a reduction in the remuneration of professionals, as the minister has advanced after meeting with an intensivist, Tamara. Contreras, who has collected 110,000 signatures to put an end to these long shifts.

“What we want is for the professionals to work well and for no patient to be the patient who is treated at the 23rd hour; We want to reduce all that scientific evidence says are medical errors that occur due to the fatigue of professionals,” indicated the minister, who has also recognized the complexity of addressing these changes because they require “a restructuring of the National System. of health”.

To carry it out, the first step is to change the Framework Statute, a reform that Health is committed to carrying out this year. “We will work with the unions, with the scientific societies, with the autonomous communities and with all those actors involved. And, at the same time, see examples from other countries where it is already done and from places in Spain where they have already removed the 24-hour guards,” the Ministry reported, aware that there will be resistance.

Health reminds that Spain is above the number of professionals per inhabitant of the OECD and gives an example of Sweden as a country that, with fewer health workers per citizen, has eliminated 24-hour guards. “Stop mistreating professionals,” the minister said, is the starting point so that they “do not flee” from the system.

The unions and the Collegiate Medical Organization believe that the objective of reducing guards is desirable, but they do not hide the difficulty. Not only because health management corresponds to the autonomous communities, but because any change in this sense implies a reorganization of hundreds of services, an increase in staff and addressing an issue that is not least the complements that medical personnel receive for this function. They can account for up to 30% of your income.

A report from the General Council of Official Medical Associations, published a year ago, indicated that 80% of the residents, doctors who are carrying out their specialty, and therefore in the training period, work more than the maximum working hours established by the European directive or they do not get the rest they should.


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