By Andrew Atkinson

An exodus of doctors taking early retirement within the hospitals of Alicante has lead to concerns by Rosa Atiénzar, Health Secretary of the CC OO Union.

“Not a sufficient number of specialists are being trained to guarantee covering all the retirements that are going to take place in the coming years,” said Atiénzar.

Alarm bells increased amid the high numbers of retirees in the profession on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic in Alicante hospitals.

Data shows numbers of retired professionals increased 58% with reports of a shortage of specialists including Family Medicine and Anesthesiology.

Hospital employees along with those in Health Centres in the province of Alicante lead to high numbers suffering from fatigue and stress during the coronovirus workload – a factor that has lead to an increase in retirements.

Data by the Ministry of Health in 2020, revealed 58% more doctors and nurses retired, with the outset of Covid-19 emerging in March 2020.

In 2019, 205 professionals retired – in 2020, 324 professionals retired. As of August 2021, 165 doctors and nurses had retired that has lead to patients appointments waiting lists delays.

Within the Health sector professionals can extend retirement age to 67 years. Under certain conditions retirement can be aged 70.

“It is very noticeable that the retirement age has lowered, it can simply be verified with the union membership data. “Before, almost everyone asked to work at least until they were 67, now they are leaving at 65,” said Víctor Pedrera, president of the Medical Union of the Valencian Community.

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