To “make life easier for citizens”, but also to “reduce bureaucracy in the National Health Service” and “hold everyone involved accountable”, medical certificates will be able to be “issued by emergency services”, but also by doctors from “private clinics” or the social sector, Minister Manuel Pizarro announced.

Until now, patients always had to go to their family doctor to have a certificate of temporary incapacity issued.

However, the Council of Ministers approved a diploma to simplify this procedure.

Now, someone who is seen in an emergency service, for example, no longer needs to go to the family doctor, because emergency services now have authorisation to issue the certificate, revealed the minister.

The measure also includes “medical practices, whether in the private or social sectors, making each doctor responsible for issuing this certificate of temporary incapacity”, he added.

The minister said he was “well aware” that the change could “carry risks of inappropriate issuance of certificates” and therefore assured that “appropriate inspection mechanisms will be put in place to prevent this problem”.

With this measure, the aim is also to reduce the time spent by family doctors dealing with these certificates: “This is time that they are not dedicating to treating other patients”, highlighted the minister.

Also aware of the “difficulties in providing a timely response from medical boards”, the Government approved another diploma that will simplify the procedures for granting certificates.