Health: ANAAO ASSOMED, 6000 doctors fleeing from postgraduate schools

Nearly 6.000 doctors are fleeing from postgraduate schools, especially from the “typically public and hospital-based schools”, which played a leading role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. First, there is emergency medicine, which has seen 61% of unassigned or not fulfilled state specialisation contracts, but also microbiology and virology (78.3%), pathology and clinical biochemistry (70%). On the opposite side there are dermatology and venereology (only 0.4% of unassigned or non-fulfilled contracts), ophthalmology (1.4%), plastic surgery (2.2%), digestive diseases (2.7%) and paediatrics (2.7%).

Anaao-Assomed, the association of medical executives, raised the alarm for a phenomenon which will have consequences for the number of specialists and highlights that this loss of graduate students mainly occurs in Lombardy (901 state specialisation contracts unassigned or not fulfilled), Veneto (642), Tuscany (573) and Lazio (559). An unassigned contract means that no one has chosen it during the competition; instead, a not fulfilled contract means that initially a contract has been chosen, but then the doctor decided to change specialization after a new competition.

Pierino Di Silverio, Anaao-Assomed National Secretary, states: “Medicine is becoming a matter of grading, where the most affected and under pression sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, burdened with greater responsibilities and lesser honours are freefalling and no longer have appeal. It’s not about doctors, but specialist doctors and it is a problem which will have an unavoidable impact on the future of an ever more care system in crisis”.

1 postgraduate student out of 5 on average (19% of contracts) is unassigned or is lost during specialization, “testifies to the significant and nowadays chronic, altered and dichotomic programming that has an impact on the current provision, deemed unsuited, of health services”. According to Di Silverio: “The absence of planning and the lack of investment in professionals, produces devastating effects, risking desertification in some branches and a deficit in others”. He emphasises: “These data should make us realise how urgent is to invest in professionals and to make attractive a profession that no longer fascinates. The doctor has lost his social identity even before he has lost his professional identity, relegated to the status of a mere provider in the same way of a product seller; the patient has turned into a client. We need to integrate and give a role to postgraduate students, the true driving force of an old and tired system. To receive them into the hospitals with a real contract, with precise and clear rights and duties, to give them adequate training and real professional prospects,’ concludes the national secretary of Anaao-Assomed, ‘is the only way, the main road’.