Catalan no longer required for doctors and nurses in the Balearics


The new PP government of the Balearic Islands has abolished the language requirement approved by the socialist Armengol – fluency in Catalan will now be a merit, not an essential requirement – and approved a plan to attract and retain health professionals in the face of the shortage and the flight to other territories. According to the doctors’ union, “the right to health is a priority value over language”.

Neither in competitive examinations, nor in the current process of stabilisation of interim staff, nor in the access to employment exchanges in the community, will it be compulsory for doctors and nurses, in any of their professional categories, to accredit their knowledge of the Catalan language. This was established in Law 4/2016 on language training measures for the recovery of the use of Catalan in the civil service: “Exceptionally and when the provision of care may be affected by the lack or insufficiency of professionals (…) the calls for selection and mobility may exempt the requirements of knowledge of the Catalan language demanded by this transitional provision”.

Considering that there is a shortage in all specialities of medicine, as well as nursing, the Govern has stopped demanding this requirement. However, the IB-Salut’s human resources service must issue a report justifying the exemption for each job vacancy. As will be recalled, the language training regulations were subsequently amended at the request of the parliamentary group Més, a partner of the Executive, which insisted that Catalan should be a requirement for access to employment in the entire Balearic Administration, including the health sector.

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