The number of doctors at ambulance stations in Russia has decreased » Medvestnik

In Russia, the number of general emergency medical teams (EMS) has decreased. Their total number decreased from 49,855 in 2020 to 49,668 in 2022. And the number of medical teams decreased during this period from 11,282 to 9,857, of which 2,705 to 1,784 provided care to children. The data are presented in the statistical collection “Healthcare in Russia 2023” published at the end of December, MV noted.

Over the same period, the number of paramedic teams increased to 39,811 (in 2020 there were 38,573), specialized ones – to 4,034 (from 3,952). The number of aeromedical teams has also increased significantly, from 46 to 1,449.

Rosstat collects data on the organization of medical and preventive care and sanatorium-resort treatment of the population, as well as on the state of the labor market in healthcare, the production of medical goods, and the consumer market for goods and services. The frequency of publication of the collection is once every two years. It was last updated in 2021, accordingly it presented statistics for 2020.

According to Rosstat, in 2022, only 10.6% of the total number of personnel working at stations and in emergency departments were doctors. Another 56.1% of employees were nursing staff. In 2020, the share of doctors was 11.4%. The data on nursing staff has not changed.

From the presentation of the chief freelance specialist of the Ministry of Health for emergency medical services Sergei Bagnenko, presented at the “Emergency Medical Care 2022” congress in St. Petersburg, it followed that the number of doctors (individuals) at stations and in emergency departments has been consistently decreasing since 2012. Then the number of specialists reached 17,877 people, in 2020 – 13,602, in 2021 – 13,070.

In 2021, out of 27.3 thousand full-time medical positions at emergency medical services stations and departments, 18.5 thousand were occupied. They employed 13 thousand specialists. The staffing situation is somewhat better with regard to staffing the rates with paramedical staff. Of the 136 thousand staff positions, 118.2 thousand were filled. 93.6 thousand people worked on them.

“Over the past three years, the staffing situation at the ambulance has not changed for the better. And given the excess load, someone still has to service these calls. It is not surprising that recently it is mainly emergency medical workers who have resorted to collective protest actions,” the co-chairman of the Interregional Trade Union of Health Workers “Action” told MV. Andrey Konoval. Often, for the sake of economy, staffing tables are drawn up with a number of positions that is significantly less than that provided for by federal standards (one general-purpose team per 10 thousand population), that is, the actual workload may be even higher than officially declared, he noted, citing his own calculations.

The authorities are consistently trying to close the personnel gap in the healthcare system with students and residents. In December, the government extended permission to work on ambulances for students in medical universities until January 2025. Graduates of a specialty in the specialties “General Medicine” and “Pediatrics” have the right to work as an emergency medical technician, subject to accreditation and 36-hour retraining courses in emergency medical care. As the Ministry of Health reported, in a number of regions such health workers made up a “significant part” of the service staff. From April 2024, resident doctors will be allowed to work in clinics.

Earlier, the Ministry of Health stated that they do not expect the staffing shortage to increase. The department has achieved a certain balance in the number of doctors leaving and joining the industry, but it is not yet able to resolve the issue of staffing of state clinics, MV wrote.

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