MILAN – In Italy, about 10,000 graduate doctors graduate each year, but there are only 7,000 contracts in specialty schools to welcome them. The reduced number of places available means that many recent graduates choose to move to neighboring European countries, “giving away” the huge investment for their training abroad. Furthermore, the choice of medical specializations sees a clear preference for addresses that allow career opportunities also in the private sector, such as plastic surgery, ophthalmology or dermatology, while emergency specialties such as “Emergency medicine” or “Anesthesia” have few preferences and resuscitation “, which allocate only 32.8% and 40.2% of the grants available each year respectively.
Added to this is the most worrying element: more than half of the doctors will soon be retired, while the Italian population is rapidly aging and health demand is growing. Among the specialists, according to Anaao-Assomed forecasts in 2025 the most serious shortcomings will be those of emergency-emergency doctors (within 5 years there will be no appeal 4180), followed by pediatricians (3323), internal medicine doctors (1828) , anesthesiologists-resuscitators and intensive care (1395), surgeons (1274).
These are some evidences of the analysis “the figures of the medical profiles in Italy and the impact of the coronavirus” of Randstad Research, the research center of the Randstad Group dedicated to the work of the future, which has put under the lens the poor preparation of our system health to deal with the emergency, collecting the various forecasts of Anaao (union of managing doctors), Fimmg (Federation of general practitioners), OECD and other institutions on professional needs. The analysis highlights the serious shortage of doctors, evident for years and unfortunately unheeded, that Italy is called upon to deal with as soon as possible in the face of the impact of the coronavirus.
Today – notes Randstad Research – in our country there are almost 4 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. The number of doctors enrolled in the order is 403,454, a number higher than the European average, but more than half of them have exceeded 55 years, for an average age of 51, who has grown by 3 years in the last decade. An average exit of 40-45% of doctors for retirement is estimated in the decade 2014-2023. According to Anaao forecasts, around 20,000 hospital doctors will be missing by 2025, including 16,500 specialists. By 2030, more than 80,000 units may be missing, divided between 34,000 general practitioners and 47,000 hospitals. And the concern does not concern only doctors, but also nurses who are 5.8 per 1000 people, visibly lower than the European average of 8.5.
Italy is an elderly country, the fourth in the OECD for life expectancy and the second in Europe, which will need increasing treatment. But healthcare spending remains below average: in Italy today only 8.8% of GDP is spent in Healthcare (10% less than the European average), with an increase of just over 2 percentage points compared to 1988, when life lasted on average seven years less.
Randstad Research warns that the need for doctors will not change course shortly, thanks to the push of digital technology and eco-sustainability. The most recent Excelsior data confirm the «health and well-being» chain in first place for occupational needs between now and 2023. Specifically, the highest annual demand rate (with growth between 4 and 4.1% per year ) will be in the health and social care sector, for which a request for care services between 406,000 and 415,000 units is expected between 2019 and 2023