“I have been chaining temporary contracts since 2004. First they were guard contracts, then monthly, then quarterly… and in 2015 they made me interim. I have counted 37 contracts in the same hospital in the same position”. Esther Rubio is a specialist in nephrology at a hospital in the Community of Madrid. Her story of job insecurity is not isolated; According to the data, more than 50% of the medical specialists who work for the Madrid Health Service (SERMAS) are not permanent. The lack of oppositions has been drawing a panorama that has caused the seams of her patience to burst in the end, before a last movement of the Ministry of Health that prevents them from taking advantage of the new state law to reduce temporary work. “I’m going to be fifty years old and I can’t ask for a mortgage,” says Rubio.
On December 28, 2021, Law 20/2021 on urgent measures to reduce temporary employment in public employment, the well-known Iceta Law, was approved. These doctors had high hopes for her. A rule that dictates that temporary positions with more than three years of seniority cannot be allowed and includes exceptional mechanisms to fix vacancies. “The temporary ones that we have spent more than five years filling a structural position, of which there are many, could opt for that position with a merit contest, presenting our curriculum, our publications…”, explains Rubio. However, days before the law was published in the BOE, the Ministry of Health swerved.
“I have a colleague who is specialized in renal transplantation. Now they make her stop her life, her training and her growth in that area to pick up a first-year Nephrology book and study 150 multiple-choice questions. It is unacceptable”
Thus, on December 14, the Ayuso government surprised with the publication of a Public Employment Offer (OPE). Rubio, who belongs to a group of workers in struggle called ‘Non-fixed doctors of Madrid’, complains that this OPE, which includes places in many specialties, forces them to pass a general exam of 150 questions and then passes to the contest phase.
“The Iceta Law gave us an equitable and fair option to stabilize our position. We have been specializing in a very specific field. For example, I have a colleague who is specialized in renal transplantation, she has spent the last 15 working years studying and growing in it. She now makes her stop her life, her training and her growth in that area to pick up a first-year Nephrology book and study 150 multiple-choice questions. It is inadmissible”, explains this struggling doctor.
This Wednesday, in an assembly meeting, and after having tried to contact the administration and having filed 600 complaints against the OPE, and in the absence of responses, they decided to go on strike on May 9, with the support of the AMYTS medical union. . And so they will.
They even have the support of the Illustrious Official College of Physicians of Madrid, ICOMEM, which has collected more than 5,000 signatures from members against these oppositions. They request an exceptional call for the stabilization of long-term temporary employment through a merit contest, in accordance with the Iceta Law. “The application of Law 20/2021 offers us a unique and unrepeatable opportunity to achieve workforce stabilization,” they say.
“The places that have been published in these OPE of the Ministry of Health cannot benefit from the stabilization proposed by state law”
Time is running against him because, as indicated by the Iceta Law, the places that can benefit from this rule must be recognized and budgeted before June 1. “The places that have been published in those OPE of the Ministry of Health cannot benefit from the stabilization proposed by state law”, Rubio sentences.
Behind all the support from other doctors there is an important factor. “This can be a disaster at the service organization level. More than 50% of the doctors who are there could go to a PEO. If you have a team made up of eleven nephrologists and only three have a fixed position, if they bring you eight new ones who only know how to do ultrasounds, you are destructuring the services”, explains the member of ‘Non-fixed doctors in Madrid’.
A group that emerged spontaneously on telegram and that has created a muscle to stop the OPE. On April 16 they will meet at the gates of the Ministry of Health and have already collected almost 5,000 signatures on change.org. If the OPE materializes, many questions remain in the air. “In addition, people have open lines of research, they have given me a scholarship with a European project. If I fail… What do I do with it? Do I stop it?”, He leaves in suspense while warning that they are not going to stop until they finish with that OPE.