The unions that group all the doctors in the country sent this Wednesday a letter to President Iván Duque in which strongly reject the possibility of making time and procedures more flexible for the validation of medical degrees and their specialties obtained abroad.
On Tuesday night, in a transmission, President Iván Duque anticipated that the Government was preparing a decree to accelerate the validations of the medical degrees obtained in educational institutions outside Colombia, in order to attend to the health emergency that the country is experiencing due to the coronavirus.
In a document that would be the draft decree, known by this newspaper, it is indicated that this measure seeks to establish “the legal exercise of the profession of titles in general medicine, specialists, subspecialists in medical and surgical specialties, masters and doctorates concerning the health area, titles of nurses, physiotherapists, who completed and completed their studies abroad ”.
The foregoing in order to prevent and control the spread of covid-19 in the territory and mitigate its effects “In the face of a possible collapse of the institutions providing health services that today are the main line to face the sanitary emergency ”.
Likewise, the draft decree, which has not been made official, proposes to temporarily grant extraordinary functions to the governors of each department so that, through the departmental health institutes, issue the corresponding administrative acts authorizing the legal exercise of the profession of the titles of health professionals in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
However, in the response letter signed by representatives of nine unions, the “great concern for the possibility that the national government is raised any flexibility of the times and procedures required for validation titles of general practitioner and first or second medical specialties that come from abroad; indistinctly”.
Doctors warn that more than a shortage of professionals in this field what exists an inequitable distribution of the same in the different regions, conditioned by limitations for the exercise and problems in the contracting on the part of the different actors of the system.
In another part of the letter, the health unions propose to Duque seven alternatives to face the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic from the health level.
Starting from the basis that “in Colombia there is no deficit of health professionals”, some of them are graduating from the first of April to about 2,500 doctors who have already completed their careers in medical schools; hiring those who have already graduated but are waiting to complete their rural year or have not found a job; and formally link resident physicians.
“General practitioners and some other specialties could be given the possibility of exercising at this juncture by license or transitory permit, which would end at the end of the crisis and then, these professionals graduated abroad, thus temporarily validated, would initiate their corresponding regulatory procedures, ”is another proposal.
The signatory unions are the Colombian Association of Scientific Societies, the National Academy of Medicine, the Colombian Medical College, the Colombian Medical Federation, the Colombian Association of Faculties of Medicine, the National Union Medical Association, the National Association of Inmates and Residents, the Association of Medical Students and the Colombian Federation of Medical Unions.