Specialist doctors from all over Italy gathered at the Ministry of Education and Merit (Miur) to protest against low wages, exhausting working hours, and outdated contracts. The protest was organized by three prominent medical associations – ANAAO Youth, ALS, and GMI, representing young doctors in the country.
Antonio Cucinella, the president of Giovani Medici per l’Italia, one of the organizers of the event, expressed their frustration, stating, “We are currently considered students. Instead, we want to have a job training contract that is regulated by the national collective agreement in the healthcare sector.”
The plight of young doctors was further highlighted by personal stories shared during the protest. Umberto, a 26-year-old specializing in pediatrics in Milan, revealed that he had decided to leave the field due to the excessive workload and low salary. “From the 1650 euro salary,” Umberto explained, “we must remove all the extra expenses, and living in the city becomes unsustainable without help from our parents.” Currently, specialist doctors earn around 1,300 euros per month after deducting various fees and insurance expenses.
Sara, another young doctor who dropped out of her specialization after six months, shared her intense experience of working long hours alone in the gynecology department. “I was also working 12 days straight for over 80 hours a week,” she recounted. Sara’s story further highlights the high-pressure environment in which young doctors are expected to work.
The protest not only shed light on the challenging conditions faced by specialist doctors but also called for necessary reforms to address these issues. The need for updated contracts and improved working conditions was at the forefront of the doctors’ demands.
The crisis in the healthcare system, particularly in relation to specialist doctors, has been a growing concern. The protest at Miur highlights the urgent need for reforms and better support for young doctors in Italy.