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Emergency medicine officially recognised as medical specialty in Spain

Emergency medicine has gained official recognition as a medical specialty in Spain, the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine (SEMES) has announced.

The Council of Ministers of the Government of Spain gave the green light to a Royal Decree establishing emergency medicine as a recognised speciality on 2 July 2024.

This will standardise the training of emergency doctors, with the first resident internal physician positions planned for 2025, and aims to support and retain young people who aspire to specialise in this field.

This will avoid ‘the terrible drain of talent that, for some time, has been weakening our National Health System’, SEMES said.

Commenting at the time of the announcement, SEMES president Dr Tato Vázquez Lima said: ‘Today is a day of great relevance for the health of our country, and a day of satisfaction and joy for all emergency physicians who, finally, see our efforts, vocation and dedication recognised.

‘With the creation of the specialty of emergency medicine, the Government of Spain makes it possible for all Spanish patients to be treated by specialists with regulated, homogeneous and recognised training, just as the citizens of our country deserve, regardless of where they reside.’

Dr Vázquez Lima also thanked the Government officials, medical associations, societies and scientists involved in the announcement for their ‘joint effort and generosity for the common good to reach the consensus that has allowed the approval of the specialty of emergency medicine in Spain’.

The recognition brings Spain in line with the majority of European Union countries and follows a similar move from the Government of the Netherlands in October 2023 after 25 years of lobbying by the Dutch Society for Emergency Medicine.

In a statement, the European Society for Emergency Medicine said: ‘We extend our congratulations to our colleagues in Spain and SEMES for achieving this remarkable milestone after years of campaigning and advocating the imperative need to recognise this specialty.’