Young people with averages above 170 values ​​are required to go to Spain, the Czech Republic, or Poland to study medicine, because in Portugal they are unable to enter higher education in this area.

Available vacancies and grades were published for all higher education courses that are part of the national competition for access to higher education, taking place between 7 and 23 August. There are approximately 51 thousand vacancies distributed across all courses, with 1441 vacancies for Medicine, spread over 7 higher education institutions, namely: University of Beira Interior, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon , University of Minho, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto and Faculty of Medical Sciences, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The numbers have not changed in relation to last year and the access averages of the last placed, in 2019, were between 175.3 and 185.0 values.

On July 4, the Pordata report was also published, with the high sponsorship of the Manuel dos Santos Foundation, which is mandatory to consult, which mirrors the statistical portrait of Portuguese society, analyzing the figures from year to year, which reveal the evolutionary trends each sector. It appears that, with regard to the health sector, we have 230 hospitals and 53 657 doctors for 10 286 263 inhabitants.

The discussion already has beards and the winners of this dispute are always the same. Whenever the public interest complains about the need to increase the number of places for Medicine or even to allow other higher education institutions to provide this training, the Medical Association and the existing medical faculties appear to assume an irreducible and indignation at what they perceive to be interference in an area so reserved and complex that it cannot be treated as a mere response to a population need. It is becoming increasingly clear that the arguments are of self-interest and, little or nothing, support the unchanging position of professionals in this sector who, at all costs, fight with all words and not only, the maintenance of their status quo, assuming itself as a corporation at a time when all professions were deprived of this condition / prestige, some in the name of transparency, others in the name of social justice, others because they simply were removed from the recognition achieved in more troubled times, others because today they did not we are allowed to recognize extraordinarily the relevance of certain professions under penalty of being excluding and stratifying professions of first or second.

Based on this principle of equality and the imperative need of the public interest to reform the health sector with the utmost urgency and considering that the national scenario shows alarming weaknesses that remain unchanged year after year, it is appropriate to ask why there is no political courage to intervene in this sector with clear and concrete measures, instead of systematically refusing the solutions presented as part of the resolution of some problems, after the pressure exerted by the Order of Doctors, the unions and the institutions that hold this monopoly of higher education in Medicine .

The extraordinary time in which we live, demanding for the medical profession, proved that these professionals are always overloaded (it is not by chance that it is one of the professions that suffers most from burn-out), which will not change in a post-Covid reality. We heard reports from exhausted doctors; the President of the Independent Doctors Union has already mentioned several times that it is necessary to invest in hospital infrastructures, equipment and human resources; before the pandemic, waiting lists for surgeries were between one and two years; hospital administrators have already done the math and reported that tens of thousands of surgeries and more than one million consultations are overdue; we continue to have 650 thousand people without a family doctor assigned; and, most surprisingly, we have, in Portugal !, more than 1800 foreign doctors to fill the gaps in certain specialties. The ridiculous is when our young people, with averages above 170 values ​​are forced to go to Spain, the Czech Republic, or Poland to study medicine, because in Portugal we do not recognize their qualifications or merit to enter higher education in this area. But if they later return to practice medicine in Portuguese lands, there is no filter and they are even welcome, and the State is grateful. But we are the ones who are most grateful, the users, because we know how much they are necessary and essential for our quality of health and the system that rejected them at the beginning of their training.

Almost a decade later, and predicting the worsening of the situation in the health sector, finally, the Government authorized the increase of vacancies for medical courses, up to 15%, corresponding in absolute numbers to about 200 new vacancies. In response, the president of the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools, stated that he does not intend to increase this number of vacancies and even refers to this decision as a sin, saying: “it seems a tactic of dividing to reign, to see if any faculty you fall into the temptation to do it ”.

The incredulity is all the greater when these statements are supported by the directors of the University of Coimbra and the University of Porto, who, pedanticly, claim not to open more vacancies, but consider the possibility of increasing the vacancies exclusively for foreign students, ostensibly leaving out students. nationals.

Is there any sense in all this? Or is the arrogant corporatism described here too evident?