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September 12, 2023

Non-EU Doctors Can Now Work In Madrid Without Holding Spanish

The capital city of Spain, Madrid, has been dealing with shortages in different sectors, especially in the healthcare one, pushing the authorities to take measures to attract more foreign nationals.

The city just recently opened a new healthcare facility, but the unions have said that the current number of healthcare workers in the new centre is not enough to handle all patients, and for this reason, facilitated rules will not apply to foreign professionals, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

According to El País, from now on, doctors from non-European Union countries will be able to work in Madrid without being required to have Spanish nationality.

Confirming the news, the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, said that the authorities are aware of the shortages in the healthcare system and stressed that non-EU doctors will be exempt from the requirement to hold Spanish nationality for three years.

They [non-EU doctors] will be exempt from the nationality requirement for three years.

the statement of Ayuso reads

By making such a change, the authorities are hoping to attract more non-EU workers to provide services in all specialties, specifically in the ones that are dealing with the highest number of shortages in Madrid, such as family medicine and pediatrics.

Welcoming the change, the president of the Official College of Physicians of Madrid, Dr. Manuel Martínez-Sellés, said that this is the right “strategy” to expand the staff. However, he stressed that it is still necessary to make more permanent changes, such as improving economic remuneration and lowering ratios.

As for community doctors, he recognised that they are leaving for other EU countries, saying that there is a problem retaining them.

They [Spanish doctors] go to France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, or Germany because there are better working conditions.


Now that Madrid has taken the decision to permit non-EU doctors to work in the country for up to three years without holding Spanish nationality, other parts of the country dealing with shortages might follow suit.

Spain is consistently trying to make it easier for non-EU doctors to reach the country for work purposes. However, as explained, the recognition process represents the main challenge for foreign doctors when wishing to reach Spain for work purposes.

Foreign doctors in Spain need to have their qualifications recognised by the government through the administrative process known as homologación.

The time to have the qualifications processed goes up to several weeks, and foreign doctors have to wait for months before being able to sit in the MIR public health exam.