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Portugal medical association says country needs 5,000 more specialist doctors

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Staff Writer | July 3, 2017
The Portuguese medical association has calculated that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 specialist doctors missing from the national health service to meet the number for the population as internationally advised.
Portugal doctor
Europe   10,000 are on internal training and specialising
There are about 45,000 doctors registered with the association and around 27,000 work for the NHS, but 10,000 are on internal training and specialising so in practice there are only about 18,000 specialist doctors working for the public health system.

Since Portugal has a population of some 10 million, this gives a ratio of 1.8 specialists per 1,000 inhabitants, meaning another 4,000 or 5,000 are needed to reach the average indicated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the president of the medical association said.

Every hospital needs more doctors, Miguel Guimarães said, but there were “chaotic and frightening” situations, such as Vila Real hospital where there were just 11 anesthesiologists when there should be 41 on the staff.