Salvador Illa, Minister of Health, explained the expansion of the healthcare team by more than 50,000 professionals who are already available to join the assistance teams of the different health administrations. This initiative aims at strengthening the public health system to fight COVID-19.
1. Increase of 50,000 health professionals
This is a group made up of 7,633 R4 and R5 resident doctors (in their final year of training) from all specialities who will have their contracts extended to continue working in the health services. In addition, almost 11,000 medical and nursing professionals who took specialized selective tests and who, having passed the test, were not awarded a place.
In addition, 14,000 doctors and nurses who retired in the last two years will be able to join depending on their care needs. The Autonomous Regions and health services have the people in this situation in their databases. Finally, a total of 10,200 nursing students and 7,000 medical students in their final year are available to provide health support.
2. EUR 210 million in support
In addition to these measures to strengthen technical and professional materials, “we must add the financial support that the Government will provide to the Autonomous Regions to meet the extraordinary expenses generated by this exceptional situation”.
Thus, from the extraordinary item approved at the last Council of Ministers, “we are going to start in the next few hours – the Minister pointed out – the distribution of an initial amount of 210 million Euros to help the Autonomous Governments to have a rapid response for the most urgent actions”. The allocation to each territory will be made according to the number of people affected and the population.
3. Increase the number of tests
Efforts have also been accelerated so that, in the coming days, the first contingents of rapid tests will begin to arrive and the number of controls will be extended to the most vulnerable population and to groups of people who are at home with mild symptoms.
4. Clinical testing
In addition, three clinical trials are underway to combat COVID 19: two for seriously ill patients and a third for early-stage and prophylactic patients. “These are still the first steps, but we are hopeful that they can give good results,” stressed Salvador Illa.
Professionals, the essential value
The minister stressed that the “good image of our health system, considered to be one of the best in the world, has a more than justified reputation”. And he added that the professionals “who perform every day without sparing any hours or efforts, constitute the most essential value of the health system. That is why they have earned our trust and our gratitude, as the whole country transmits to them every evening from the balconies”.
The Minister of Health concluded his speech by stressing that “from the Government, we are acting with determination in the mission of ensuring that health care reaches all citizens equally, wherever they live”.