Disponibilidad de médicos en Chile y su proyección a mediano plazo. Cinco años después
According to a prospective study performed in 1993, Chile had 14,400 active physicians (excluding those over 70 years of age) and a physician/inhabitant ratio of 1:960. The estimated projection for 1998 was of 16,244 physicians and a ratio of 1:921. However, during the present decade, the number of medical schools in Chile has duplicated, increasing by 38.4% the number of available posts in Medical schools. Also, 1,297 physicians graduated abroad, have been incorporated. Therefore, previous projections must be revisited. The present study shows that in 1998, Chile has 17,441 physicians (1:850), will have 20,610 (1:765) in 2003 and 24,449 in 2008. This last figure means a physician/inhabitant ratio of 1:679, similar to that of countries with a consolidated market economy. The foreseen medical population increase rate of 3.5% doubles the general population increase rate. To assure the quality of medical training, a Medical School accreditation process is being held. This study highlights the need to review bilateral agreements subscribed with five countries, that recognize the physician degree without assessing the medical skills of foreign graduates.