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Finland would need at least 3,000 more doctors – Report

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There is a shortage of doctors even in the cities where they are trained – yet there are no plans to increase the number of students

According to Juho Ruskoaho, Chief Economist of Municipal and Welfare Area Employers, Finland would need at least 3,000 more doctors.

Even the largest cities in Finland are not immune to a shortage of doctors. It is difficult to hire doctors even in those cities where you can study to become a doctor at the university.

Doctors are currently being trained in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu and Kuopio. In addition, approximately one thousand Finns are studying to become doctors abroad.

The Student Health Foundation recently cited a shortage of doctors as the reason for the long treatment queues. Reetaleena Hietala , who started as director of the central region of YTHS in December , says that it is difficult for them to find substitutes for doctors’ temporary absences.

– You could imagine that somewhere in Tampere there would be a reserve to fill substitutes as well, because doctors are trained in the city.

There is a shortage of general practitioners throughout the country

YTHS is not alone in its pain. The occupational barometer of the Employment and Economic Affairs Office(you switch to another service)according to, there is a shortage of general practitioners in almost the entire country. The aging of the population increases the need for services, even though Finland’s population base is not predicted to grow.

According to the KT of municipal and welfare area employers, there would be an immediate need for thousands of doctors. Every year there are more vacant doctor positions in both primary care and hospitals.

According to KT’s chief economist Juho Ruskoaho , Finland would need at least 3,000 more doctors. According to him, with that amount, it would be possible to fill the empty doctor’s jobs in, for example, health centers, hospitals and the private sector, as well as meet the need for additional doctors caused by the treatment guarantee.

– According to OECD statistics, there are more than 20 percent more doctors in Sweden and Denmark than in Finland. Even if we had 3,000 more doctors, our doctor density would still be lower than these countries, says Ruskoaho.

More training places and information systems in order

Ruskaaho stated that significant increase in medical training is necessary and the solution has been delayed for an unfortunately long time.

– The doctor shortage proves that the universities have throttled the amount of basic training for doctors to a level that is completely insufficient in relation to the needs of the patients.

In addition, the selection of means includes increasing work-related immigration and concentrating the work of doctors more on patient care.

– This requires, in addition to developing the division of labor, possibly also a reevaluation of doctors’ specialization training.

Ruskoaho says that patient information systems that are difficult to use take up valuable work time and that they have also been shown to be a threat to patient safety.

– It is an intolerable waste that doctors treat even fewer patients during the day, because the introduction of information systems purchased with hundreds of millions of euros is delayed.


Source: Yle

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