Portugal wants to hire Brazilian doctors with a salary equivalent to R$15,000 per month, in addition to meal vouchers and paid housing, to compensate for the shortage of professionals in regions where the demand for health services is more strong.
This comes against a backdrop of an increase in the number of immigrants in the country and the retirement of doctors, putting pressure on the public health system, the National Health Service (SNS), similar to the SUS Brazilian.
Among Brazilians alone, the number of legal immigrants in the country has more than doubled since 2016: there are nearly 300,000 (or 30% of all foreigners), according to the most recent official data.
The details of how the recruitment of foreign doctors will work are still being worked out, as the hiring models related to recruitment are still “under development”, the Central Administration of the Health System (ACSS) informed, an organization linked to the Ministry of Health. Health: Portuguese Health, in a note sent to BBC News Brasil.
We know, however, that the recruitments will be of a “transitional nature” — three years — “to facilitate the populations’ regular access to medical care”, while family doctors are trained, according to the ACSS.
“The conditions which can be proposed and which are included in the synthesis carried out by the ACSS and which are still being developed are being tested,” the organization indicates in the press release.
“The proposed remuneration is based on the provision of medical services in Primary Health Care, for a weekly schedule of 40 hours.”
The hired doctors will work in health centers in the Lisbon, Vale do Tejo, Alentejo and Algarve regions.
The monthly salary is 2,863 euros (R$15,000 gross, or around R$9,000 net), in addition to a daily meal ticket of six euros (R$32). Housing is also included in the benefits package.
Hired doctors will benefit from “an integration period with the support of a doctor from the service”.
But they must meet the following conditions: have “recognition of foreign diplomas” in Portugal and, “preferably, a minimum of five years of experience as a doctor”.
Interested people should send their application to the email: [email protected].
The revalidation of the diploma, however, continues to be one of the biggest obstacles for foreign doctors who wish to work in Portugal and could thwart the plans of Brazilians who wish to emigrate.
In fact, to practice their profession in the country, these professionals must pass several tests in one of the eight Portuguese medical faculties, a process considered long and complicated.
With this in mind, the Portuguese government approved at the beginning of July an exceptional regime for the automatic recognition of diplomas. The objective is to accelerate the recruitment of foreigners to strengthen the SNS.
Union leaders interviewed by the Portuguese press criticized the government’s decision to hire foreign doctors.
In recent months, health professionals across the country have led strikes demanding better working conditions and pay.
“We will demand accommodation for young specialists in the next meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Health,” Jorge Roque da Cunha, secretary general of the Independent Union of Doctors (SIM), told the Público newspaper.
He stressed that Portuguese doctors do not have the right to housing and that in Lisbon this represents “1 thousand (R$) extra per month”.
“Unfortunately, the government, instead of fulfilling its obligation, which is to attract Portuguese doctors to the SNS, plans to hire foreign professionals who, of course, will be the assistant doctors of government officials and their families and advisors “, he added.
The president of the National Federation of Doctors (Fnam), Joana Bordalo e Sá, described these measures as “a lack of respect towards professionals trained in Portugal”.
“It is strange to see this type of advertising. There is no shortage of doctors in Portugal, there is a shortage of doctors in the SNS. We have around 60,000 doctors registered with the Order of Physicians, but only 31,000 are in the SNS. “SNS. This only reveals the desperation of the Ministry of Health, which is unable to hire for the SNS. But there are solutions: the government must invest in working conditions and in improving the salaries of doctors who train in Portugal,” she told Public.
Portuguese Health Minister Manuel Pizarro said that, for the moment, “no decision has been taken regarding the contingents of foreign doctors.”
However, he added that their number should be between “200 and 300 professionals” and that they will be recruited in “several Latin American countries”.
According to him, Portugal “cannot” look for doctors in countries where there is a shortage of these professionals. Therefore, recruitment, he said, should take place “in Cuba, Colombia and a few other Latin American countries.”
In the past, Portugal hired doctors from countries like Uruguay, Cuba, Costa Rica and Colombia.
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