José Luis Escrivá, Minister of Social Security.
Is the concept feasible? ‘active retirement’ in the medical sector? Jose Luis Escriva appeals to this formula to guarantee the pension system, and is expected to soon announce a series of incentives designed to ‘tempt’ workers to extend their working life beyond 67 years. The will of the Minister of Social Security has been well received within the General Council of Official Colleges of Physicians (Cgcom), although sources from the agency warn that the current scenario does not invite doctors to remain in office despite the economic loss that this entails. The solution, they say, could be found in sanitary models like the English.
The first vice president of Cgcom, Isabel Moyapoints specifically to the figure of the ‘referring doctor’, which is not contemplated in Spain but is in other health systems in which retired doctors take advantage of their experience to carry out essentially consultative work. “They are not at bedside nor do they follow a ‘normal’ routine, and that allows them to stretch their careers away from healthcare pressure”, he argues.
In this sense, it emphasizes that many doctors who are in the last years of their professional stage have problems coping with the high pressure care, which is a key disincentive when it comes to staying in the job beyond the legal retirement age. “Our profession carries risks and carries a lot of stress. This affects the mental health and motivation of professionals, who refuse to continue even if it means a loss of purchasing power”, he emphasizes.
According to Moya, beyond the economic incentives that Escrivá can put on the table, the recognition of this figure of ‘reference doctor’ is postulated to be decisive so that doctors “have no problem stretching their careers” once they turn 67, which is the age that will be set for retirement from 2027. To do this, he adds, it would be necessary to establish new professional categories “according to the seniority and experience” of the doctors.
Early retirement in Medicine with full pension
Moya concedes that retirement “active, encouraged and voluntary” may have “good acceptance” among the medical community and offer a solution to the sustainability problems of the health system itself. However, he underlines that the model must be “flexible”, so that the physician is not only allowed to remain in his position for a longer time if his physical conditions and the specialty he exercises allows it, but also to retire early and with 100 percent of the pension “as happens in other professions”.
“In that sense, our profession continues to be discriminated against,” says the vice president of Cgcom, who appeals to the factors of danger and hardship of the medical profession, from exposure to pathogens to mandatory shifts.
Negotiation with unions
These are the first impressions of the medical community after the announcement by the Minister of Social Security, who this week stressed that the new incentives for delayed retirement “are regulatory changes that try to adapt to the new reality” that means retirement at 67 years of age.
“Active retirement is going to be part of the second package of negotiation with social agents“, advanced the head of Social Security, who recalled that the intergenerational equity fund and the “stopping” of the maximum pension and the corresponding contributions have already been addressed.
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