The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) insists on the need for more medical specialists at a national level and ensures that one of the most critical areas is anesthesiology and recovery.
Eugenia María Villalta, medical manager of the Fund, said that 31 operating rooms have closed across the country for lack of 151 anesthesiologists.
We have 31 operating rooms across the country that are not open for lack of anesthesiologists. We also have a very important gap in radiology, where we have a high demand but a very limited supply, because both anesthesiologists and radiologists will go to private medicine,”
According Villalta, if they had an anesthesiologist in the operating room, doctors could perform about 6 more surgeries daily.
The doctor also recognizes that the doctors they do have working there, are overload with work, since they also work in the afternoons.
Last week, the Ministry of Health took part of the Fund’s application to declare shortage of specialists in the country, so recruiting foreign doctors is a possibility.
The Ministry confirmed and declared the country needs 47 medical specialists in anesthesiology and recovery, radiology and medical imaging, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, internal medicine, general surgery for 16 hospitals.
For example, of those 151 anesthesiologists needed, the Fund may hire 13 for 16 hospitals, three of which would go to Fernando Escalante Pradilla Hospital in Perez Zeledón.
The other part of the problem is the fact that the specialists continue to quit their jobs. According to Villalta, amid negotiations for more specialists, two doctors from Limón left, an orthopedist and an anesthesiologist.
Villalta added that she has received only two applications from national specialists, an internist and one that has already retired.
However, the proposals from twenty foreign doctors interested in coming to the country are being studied. Only 2 or 3 would come with family.
The CENDEISSS is reviewing the curricula of Spain, Cuba and Venezuela, and for example, a specialist in gynecology and a human reproduction specialist already took a test in the Medical College,”
said the woman.
If the foreign doctors’ proposal is approved, they’ll have one-year permits from the College of Physicians, with the possibility of renewing them several times.