First time in the update

More 100,000 files They wait for Social Security to make an appointment to review their medical situation. The figure is the highest in four years, according to data from the first week of February that she had access to. Independent. In fact, this figure has tripled from what it was in March 2022, when 30,946 Spaniards They were in this situation.

Behind these 104,203 cases There are many situations. From employees who have worked for the company for more than 12 months. temporary disability mothers who have requested risk benefits during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Welfare health inspectors should also check access to school insurance or orphans’ benefits.

A group of doctors went on strike for several days, called by the UGT to demand more resources, a re-run of assessments by a multidisciplinary body, and the independence of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS).

As this newspaper reported, until May 18 last year, if a worker had been on temporary disability for more than 12 months, a disability assessment panel (EVI) would assess whether the person could return to their job. . But from that date onwards the decision is made by the Social Security Medical Officer rather than the five-member panel that makes up the EVI.

At the time, the Department of Social Security justified the savings by promoting the recognition of medical records. They also expected “working time savings for the staff of the provincial offices of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS).” However, the savings have not been quantified and administrative time is not reduced, but rather the opposite.

“Now there are not as many cases being resolved as before, there are not as many extracts as there were,” comments the doctor at the social security inspection. The same source claims that the change harms citizens because guarantees are lost. “What was previously handled by several specialists must now be done by a doctor. In addition, if the patient complains, the same doctor should give an assessment without seeing the patient again- he insists.

Sources interviewed indicate that the increase in the number of people waiting for a Social Security doctor to resolve their situation is also due to waiting lists National Health Service (SNS). The fact that there are waiting lists to see specialists or even to undergo surgery means that “the losses are not necessarily treated and are long-lasting.”

Pilot project

To speed up these medical examinations, INSS has launched pilot project so that doctors can assess patients through video consultations. However, a citizen must travel to a medical unit, so the trip must be made regardless of the medical care provided by a medical professional.

“This doesn’t solve anything,” says the doctor. “The doctor must palpate, look, diagnose the patient during a consultation, which cannot be done via video conference,” he criticizes.

According to the information currently available to the newspaper, Less than twenty cases resolved via video call. Patients agreed to this form of diagnosis, although the documentation stated that possible claims would be considered in cases where benefit was not recognized.

Personnel shortage

The shortage of social security personnel, condemned by trade unions, is also a reality among medical personnel. According to the list of positions in the Social Security Inspectorate there should be about 660 doctors, but, according to the latest data, there are only 574.

Union sources point out that while government job offers have been approved, registrations have occurred at the same rate as layoffs, so the workforce is not increasing even though the workload has increased.