Covid pandemic lays bare Spain’s chronic shortage of medics

Lack of job security and lower salaries than in other countries among reasons for shortfall

Twenty years ago, after too many temporary contracts and too many hours delivering pizza to pay the rent, Joan Pons finally abandoned his dream of working as a nurse in his native Spain.

“I’d love to have been able to stay,” he says. “The problem was that I finished my nursing degree in 1997 and couldn’t find any stable jobs. There were daily contracts, or ones for a week, where they used to sack me on a Friday and hire me again the following Monday so that they didn’t have to pay me for the weekend.”

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