SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 9 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
On Friday, at the meeting of the Interterritorial Council held at the Ministry of Health, Esther Monzón, the Health Minister of the Government of the Canary Islands, urged for decisive action to address the shortage of specialists in Family and Community Medicine affecting the entire country.
“Measures need to be taken to address the generational transition in Family and Community Medicine that impacts all autonomous communities,” she stated.
Monzón urged the Ministry to promptly take steps to facilitate the renewal of family doctors, increase teaching positions, and amend accreditation requirements for teaching units to allow for a more flexible and efficient process.
Additionally, she called for greater flexibility in the criteria for clinical psychologist positions.
Esther Monzón highlighted that the Canary Health Service has achieved the proposed indicators and objectives through the implementation of the SCS + Primary Care Strategy.
This Strategy, developed and agreed upon with scientific societies in 2019, was launched last year with updated measures.
A series of improvement measures were implemented, including capping doctor and pediatrician appointments at 34 and 28 patients respectively, establishment of advocacy and demand management teams, and the formation of Family Care Units consisting of doctors, nurses, and administrative assistants, which has helped streamline the bureaucracy in consultations with Family and Community Medicine specialists, the Ministry statement reports.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW PROFESSIONAL ROLES
These measures were accompanied by the introduction of new professional roles in healthcare centres such as physiotherapists, clinical psychologists, documentalists, and reinforcement of administrative staff, which are currently being piloted in all centres on the non-capital islands and in 22 health centres in Gran Canary Islands and Tenerife.
The Ministry of Health is committed to furthering the transformation of the Primary Care model to consolidate the measures outlined in the Strategy and advance in the continuity of care and integrated care, which includes bidirectional coordination between care levels, interoperability of the Digital Medical Record, and socio-health coordination.
The department remains steadfast in its commitment to enhance Primary Care and transform its care and accessibility model.
“The results of the strategy demonstrate its effectiveness, considering that capping doctors’ and pediatricians’ appointments has not led to an increase in wait times, which averaged 4.6 days for in-person consultations with the family doctor and 1.7 for the pediatrician in January,” stated Monzón.
Between 2022 and 2023, the Ministry has recruited a total of 774 professionals, including 196 specialists in Family and Community Medicine, 60 paediatricians, 199 nurses, 40 midwives, 60 nursing assistants, and 70 administrative assistants.
The allocation for Primary Care in the Ministry of Health’s 2024 budget has increased by 15.67 percent, marking the largest increase in this program, reaching 1,352 million euros.
Esther Monzón also appealed to the Ministry for greater involvement and collaboration in healthcare for the migrant population arriving on the Canary Islands, which is the responsibility of the Canarian Health Service in terms of personnel assigned to health assessments and the economic cost of the attention needed.