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The awarding of university degrees in the Basque Country is weak in medicine.

The awarding of university degrees in the Basque Country is weak in medicine.

Since the last century, Euskadi has matched various teaching qualifications obtained abroad. Until now, the Basque government could validate ESO, baccalaureate or FP certificates. Starting July 1, Euskadi will take another step. That will be completed today The transfer of this competence by the central government and the Basque executive could begin to validate university degrees obtained outside Europe with the same effects of the verification carried out by the Ministry of Universities. In this way, architects or engineers with a university degree recognized in the Basque Country would be able to practice their profession throughout the country and European territory. But in the case of medicine this transfer remains weak. It will not be complete.

To practice as a doctor in the national health system, in addition to having a medical degree, doctors must have been trained in certain specialties. The recognition of this second training will continue to depend on the central government, in this case the Ministry of Health.

So foreign doctors who want to check their knowledge in Euskadi will only be able to complete half the trip here. They will have to complete the other half in Madrid. Of course, the verification that Lakua will perform will allow you to take the MIR exam or work in those areas where doctors are not required to have a specialty (mutual insurance, nursing homes, psychological testing or some ambulances).

The Euskadi university degree homogenization seeks to open up the existing path in this area at the Ministry of Universities. The organization “Fair Homogenization and Equivalencies Now” estimates that there are “around 10,000 files from different professions” that have started the validation process, but have not yet received a response, one way or another. On average, they accumulate “more than two years of waiting”, but there are cases where “it exceeds five”.

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After the approval process, the Basque Government estimates that different university degrees can be registered each year in Euskadi.

the doctors

In 2023, non-EU citizens will have their specialty recognised by the Ministry of Health.

Sources from the Basque Country Ministry of Education avoid talking about how long the operations taking place in Euskadi may take. It will depend largely on the type of qualification to be accredited. Behind closed doors, though, the department hopes to achieve faster deadlines than those in Madrid.

People who, as of July 1, want to validate a university degree obtained abroad in the Basque Country must be registered in the Basque Country and do not have any file open in Spain to validate that degree. Education estimates that approximately 2,445 community equivalency applications will be submitted each year. The processing will be completely electronic. Applicants will be able to upload all the information they need to the website that will be enabled by the Basque Executive Authority.

The General Council of Medical Associations has appealed this transfer from the central government to the Basque government through legal procedures. It does so by considering that, specifically in the case of the medical degree, competition for the accreditation of these titles “could jeopardize the principle of equality and non-discrimination, leading to the consolidation of territories that are difficult to reach and others that are more easily accessible.” Reach recognition.” Of university medical degrees in a setting outside the European Union. The three Basque medical associations did not support this appeal. They believe that it has no legal effect and that this transfer is protected by law.

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“For us, there will be no problem in traveling to places where there are problems with medical coverage.”

Evaluate each case

Regardless of whether this appeal is accepted or not, the Basque government maintains its own roadmap. Therefore, those who obtain the validation of their medical qualifications in Euskadi must subsequently go to the Ministry of Health if they want their specialty to be recognized. The process is neither simple nor quick. A committee made up of health sciences professionals will evaluate each case and check the training program followed by the applicant to see if it is equivalent to that taught in Spain and Europe. In some specialties it is completely different. For example, in the National Health System, the residency for training in the specialty of internal medicine lasts five years. In Venezuela it is three.

This is one of the reasons why most recognition requests are not met. The other is the lack of all the required documents. In 2023, the Ministry of Health processed a total of 1,030 requests for recognition of medical specialties. Of these, 801 were rejected, while 229 others obtained credentials to practice the profession in Spain, according to data provided by the ministry.

“What lies behind the doubt is whether these doctors are as trained as those who performed MIR here. In some countries they will be, but in others they will not. Naturally, once they receive accreditation from the Ministry of Health, their value and knowledge are recognized. “There are many competent people who have been trained abroad,” says Cosme Naveda, president of the Bizkaia College of Physicians.

In November, the Basque Country approved an additional provision within the Public Health Act allowing Usakiditza to employ specialist doctors and nursing specialists with non-EU nationality, as long as their qualifications are approved. The Ministry of Health published a decree weeks later declaring 55 specialties in short supply so that it could incorporate non-EU doctors into these vacant positions. Of the first 100 non-European doctors to register, only 20 held the chartered title. The College of Physicians of Bizkaia appealed this additional ruling to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Basque Country. He wants its wording to be clear enough so that when there are vacancies, priority is given to recruiting national and European doctors. Only when there are none can non-EU citizens be integrated.