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Social problems that concern doctors

The vast majority of Spanish doctors, 89%, are concerned about accessing healthcare without forgetting other social problems such as migration policies (86%), drug use (85%), gender violence (85%) and climate change (74%).

These are the results of an online survey carried out this year on 845 Spanish doctors, from 35 different specialties, by Medscape, a specialized health information platform, in order to reveal what concerns them and the social problems with which they feel most sensitized .

“With this report, we wanted to show the perception of doctors in the face of issues that concern them, not only in the medical field, but also as active individuals in a society,” he pointed out Dr. Javier Cotelo Vila, member of the Editorial Committee of Medscape in Spanish.

“Medical professionals – he adds – are aware of the global problems that affect the population, both in our country and globally, such as the climate, immigration or the rights of different groups, among others”.

Thus, in more personal areathe report shows that a quarter consider climate change to be the issue that has most affected them or someone in their family (24%), followed by access to healthcare (22%) and drug abuse and other substances (15%).

On the other hand, more than half (51%) feel angry when they think about social problems and 55% refer to having taken an active part, helping to raise money or through donations.

Health concerns

Other findings of the report on the social concerns of doctors reflect the perception of professionals regarding the health system and services, reaching 90% of doctors who have seen an increase in the waiting lists of their patients in the last five years , a percentage that reaches 97% in doctors under 45 years of age.

In addition, up to 77% believe that the quality of healthcare has declined over the last five years and almost nine out of ten (88%) believe that covid-19 has had a negative impact on worsening this quality

The report also shows the interaction of doctors on social issues and reveals that almost 80% of doctors have discussed these issues with their patients, compared to 15% who say they have not done so.

On the other hand, 54% indicate that commenting on these issues has not led to negative consequences, while 23% claim that they have had discussions with colleagues. 19% have had problems with superiors and 14% with patients.

At this point, more than half of respondents (52%) feel that professional medical organizations are not doing enough to address social issues.

Regarding the accessibility to healthcare, opinion is very divided: 46% answered that the system is accessible to everyone, against 42% who opted for the opposite, although a percentage of 68% considers that the current public health system is the best model, followed by those who are in favor of a mixed public-private system, 38%. Only 1% believe that the current healthcare system should be completely private.

medical social problems medscape survey

The other social problems beyond health

The survey also addresses other social issues of concern to doctors:

• 65% agree that the migrants/refugees receive health care regardless of the reasons for their migration and 55% do not believe that they are denied the rights they should have.

• As to gender violence among colleagues, only 6% have reported a case, reaching 40% who have reported a patient for this reason. Two out of three respondents consider that the actions taken by the Government in the matter of gender violence are acceptable.

• In the problem of drug and substance abuse, 55% are opposed to its legalization, with 19% approving it although not automatically and almost half of respondents (48%) consider this problem important or very important among doctors. On the other hand, 46% think that substance abuse among medical professionals has increased with the pandemic, although 52% think that this problem has remained the same.

• Without a doubt, the climate change it has achieved high unanimity among respondents as 85% consider it a priority for countries, 82% see it as a threat to humanity and up to 77% have answered that it has a negative impact on the health of patients.

• On Social Security coverage in the reproductive rightsthere are no great numbers, so 37% are not sure and 34% think it should be expanded.

• Finally, as for the rights of the LGTBIQ+ groupsalmost three-quarters (72%) indicate that there are no differences in terms of medical care and the vast majority (82%) believe that children under the age of 12-15 should not receive hormonal or surgical treatment without the consent of their parents or guardians.

medical social problems medscape survey
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