PRESS RELEASE: European Junior Doctors call for immediate action to prevent healthcare collapse in Europe
Healthcare in Europe is on a precipice. Junior doctors in Europe are challenged to provide safe healthcare in systems that are underfunded, understaffed and under-resourced. The demand for healthcare in Europe is ever rising in the shadow of an unprecedented pandemic, a war in Europe and the subsequent economic recession. Junior doctors and the health workforce are suffering moral injury, physical harm and burnout; they are struggling to provide the care their patients need. The European Junior Doctors Association demands action from the European Union and national governments to urgently address this crisis before irrevocable damage occurs.
This situation is not new; it was both predictable and preventable. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, junior doctors across Europe had been warning about the absence of adequate workforce planning, the distressing working and training conditions junior doctors and healthcare professionals face and the consequences on wellbeing and patient care. Junior doctors across Europe report excessive working hours and workload, lack of rest during and between shifts, lack of training opportunities and widespread institutional violence. Alarming rates of burnout and other mental health problems have resulted in many junior doctors leaving and considering leaving the workforce. A contracting workforce facing increasing healthcare demands nurtures this vicious cycle. Two and a half years later these issues remain unaddressed, and Europe is facing new compounding challenges, notably financial recession and energy crisis; the perfect storm for the implosion of healthcare in Europe.
The European Junior Doctors Association will be addressing the European health workforce crisis at their General Assembly this week in Norway; EJD calls the European Union and national governments to similar urgent action to avert impending healthcare collapse in Europe.
“For many years EJD has been calling out the challenges faced by junior doctors and healthcare workers across Europe. We demand an urgent response from the European Union and national governments. They must step up, take responsibilityand address the multitude of challenges faced by health professionals and patients in Europe.” Mathias Körner, EJD President.
“Junior doctors are on the front line of healthcare in Europe and need to be listened to if we are expected to deliver health care in the future. We demand a paradigm shift in healthcare in Europe” Kristin Kornelia Utne, chair of the Norwegian Junior doctor association.
The European Junior Doctors Association (EJD) represents more than 300 000 junior doctors in Europe. We advocate for Junior Doctors’ rights, the improvement of training systems and optimal patient care.
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