Demographic and Professional Characteristics of Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology Registered in Portugal: Needs, Resources and Challenges

Daniel Pereira da Silva, Cristina Nogueira-Silva, Jorge Lima, António Braga, João Saraiva, Fernanda Águas, Nuno Nogueira-Martins, Susana Santo, José Manuel Furtado, Maria Céu Almeida, Cristina Guerreiro, Carlos Veríssimo, João Bernardes

Abstract


Introduction: The demographic and professional characteristics of specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology registered in Portugal are presented and current and future needs assessed.
Material and Methods: An analysis of the data from Instituto Nacional de Estatística, Ordem dos Médicos and a survey sent to the directors of the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Portuguese hospitals was perfomed. In order to calculate the necessary number of specialists, established indicators of the activity of the specialty were used.
Results: In 2018, there were 1 437 441 consultations of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 89 110 major gynecologic surgeries and 85 604 deliveries. For that, 1065 Obstetrics and Gynecology physicians, working 40 hours per week, with no more than 40% aged 55 years of age and older or including 30 residents per year, are deemed necessary. According to the National Institute of Statistics, in the same year there were 1143 specialists in Portuguese hospitals, of which 234 worked in private hospitals. On the other hand, 1772 specialists were registered with the Ordem dos Médicos: 1163 (66%) were aged 55 years old or above and 84% of specialists under the age of 40 were females. In 2020, there were 864 specialists, 46% of which aged years of age and older working in 39 out of the 41 public or public-private departments that answered the survey. In 2035, an increase of 7% in the required number of specialists is expected.
Conclusion: In Portugal, there is not lack of Obstetrics and Gynecology specialists in absolute numbers, but the large number of specialists aged 55 years of age and older, who are exempt from shifts in emergency department work, and the existence of regional asymmetries contribute to the perpetuation of some shortages of these healthcare professionals in several departments, namely in public hospitals.


Keywords


Demography; Gynecology; Obstetrics; Portugal; Professional Practice; Specialization

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