SANTIAGO – President Michelle Bachelet, herself a physician by training, launched a campaign to bring more of Chile’s medical professionals into the public health system.
“Primary care and specialist physicians need to know and appreciate the opportunities offered by the Public Health System,” she told a news conference. “This campaign will reach out to all the medical schools in Chile, where, I am sure, there are plenty of public service vocations.”
The Bachelet administration’s 2016 budget calls for increasing the Health Ministry’s share by 5.1 percent to $9.55 billion, to finance the hiring of 750 more physicians and training an additional 1,000.
“To confront the gaps in our health system, the government has set in motion the Physician Enrollment, Training and Retention Plan, which will allow us to add 1,000 primary care doctors by 2018 and to train 4,000 specialists,” she said.
During the campaign launch at Santiago’s Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, Bachelet said that by 2018 the country’s ratio of physicians to inhabitants will improve from one per 4,300 people to one doctor for every 2,800 people.
“This will enable us to open for more professionals the opportunity to have this unique experience of practicing the social purpose of medicine, to reach remote areas of our country and to know diverse realities,” the president said.