The medium and long term outlook for Primary Care is complex. There is a shortage of family doctors and pediatricians and this shortage will increase in the coming years. The Osakidetza are well aware of this problem. January 2023 began with 186 medical positions lacking in this level of care due to a lack of specialties. The forecast is that these vacancies will increase over the rest of the decade due to the absence of a sufficient replacement generation. In the Basque country, 29% of these doctors are 60 years old or older, according to a recent report published by the Ministry of Health. and the number of new teachers entering the retirement system does not cover Osakidetza recognizes that “for the next 5 or 8 years the lack of professionals will grow”, according to Víctor Bustamante, director of health care in the Basque Country Health Service.
For this reason, Salud has opened a reflexive process to adapt the Basque Primary Care to the mission with a decreasing number of doctors. At first glance, the simplest solution might be to attract teachers from other communities. But the problem is the same throughout the region and the Basque region wants to escape from any war between the autonomies for toilets. For this reason, the answer to this question has to do with decision making. Which one is it? Those that have already been used for a few years in the summer and other festive seasons, in which the holiday season prepares the loan of the service: reduced hours in the health centers. It will not be common for all clinics, but those that have staff shortages and problems open from 8 am to 8 pm will close at 5 a.m.
Last Christmas, almost 81 hundred health centers in the Basque Country opened fewer hours than usual and covered Osakidetza in the summer, 20 clinics were only nursing patients and closed another 24 – ten of them in alternate periods – due to lack of staff.
The reduction in hours is a measure of the months Osakidetza had in Gipuzkoa applying to various outpatient clinics. Some did not recover their usual hours after the summer time. There will be no more on this site. It depends on the need for doctors from each batch and how their primary care units are organized. Someone will come sooner. Others, with more or less energy, will be able to hold out for several years. “We do not have enough to cover the model that has been prevailing until now. We are going to another in which we cannot afford such a continuous schedule, “Bustamante acknowledges.
“We don’t have the doctors to cover the prevailing pattern, we can’t afford such a continuous schedule.”
Director of Health
In order to “provide the help” that is provided to the people – or that they are at least resentful – Osakidetza relies on “other resources” to have this level of help. In particular, PACs will play a more essential role, providing continuous care points that act as emergency walk-ins when health centers close. For this, the leader of salvation shows, “to be peremptory.”
For example, PACs will be asked to take on new roles that may overwhelm their colleagues in the outpatient clinic. Among them, according to Bustamante, the process of “lack of work” that leaves the sick, or the series of “diagnostic and therapeutic processes that are now carried out in health centers” are processes. For the population, this in turn will involve adaptation.
Last June, the Minister Sagardui has already been promoted to the market by two pharmaceutical companies, which “and specialization from innovation in techniques and technology and the shortage of professional families to the horizon of greater mobility to receive care for citizens”. And along these lines are some of the measures that Osakidetza will use for Primary Care.
PACs will be open at least from 9 am to 9 am, but night service is not guaranteed.
Last Christmas, almost 81 hundred health centers opened with fewer hours than usual
“It’s hard not to cover everything”
But it is not pure chocolate. As outpatient clinics are accompanied by family doctors. In health, they do not hide the fact that it is difficult to maintain their current activity in all cases. Bustamante emphasizes that the hours from 9 am to 9 am are the time of day when many people are involved in services with immense health problems. And if the resources are sufficient, they will also try to continue the night schedule. “The current situation is not resolved with the policies, it is a problem of lack of personnel. It is difficult because we are not able to cover all devices all the time, but we do not have enough doctors. We are in a fragile situation, although the scenario is not the same in all care institutions”, reflected Bustamante. In Bizkaia, Galdakao was especially affected.
On the table is the possibility of joining some PACs, a measure already taken in Vitoria with Olaguíbel and San Martino. Especially since they are close to each other and there is not enough staff to attend to both or the adjacent health care that this service can provide.