Madrid has been grappling with workforce shortages in various sectors, particularly healthcare, prompting authorities to take action to attract more foreign professionals. A new healthcare facility recently opened in the city, but concerns arose about the availability of healthcare staff to meet patient needs. As a result, relaxed rules have been introduced for foreign professionals.
Spanish newspaper El País reports that doctors from non-European Union countries can now practice in Madrid without the previous requirement of Spanish nationality. Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid, confirmed this change, acknowledging the healthcare system's shortcomings. Non-EU doctors will be exempt from the Spanish nationality requirement for a three-year period.
This move aims to attract more non-EU healthcare professionals to help fill gaps in various specialties, particularly those experiencing severe shortages in Madrid, such as family medicine and paediatrics.
Dr. Manuel Martínez-Sellés, President of the Official College of Physicians of Madrid, praised this strategic shift to strengthen the workforce. However, he emphasised the need for more permanent changes, including better pay and reduced workloads.
Regarding community doctors, Dr. Martínez-Sellés acknowledged their migration to other EU countries, citing improved working conditions in nations like France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Germany as driving factors.
Madrid's decision to grant non-EU doctors a three-year work opportunity without requiring Spanish nationality may set a precedent for other regions facing similar shortages.
Spain continues its efforts to simplify the process for non-EU doctors seeking employment in the country. However, the primary challenge for foreign medical professionals remains the recognition of their qualifications, necessitating adherence to the administrative homologation process.
This process can take several weeks, causing foreign doctors to endure months of waiting before becoming eligible to take the MIR public health examination, ultimately hindering their ability to practise in Spain.
September 20, 2023