Medical fellows!

We are currently immersed in the worst public health crisis in recent world history and we, doctors on the front line, endure many of the consequences which inevitably affect our health and also that of our loved ones. Despite the background in neighbouring countries, the system and our leaders have abandoned us once again, falling back on the fact that this crisis was altogether unavoidable. We work without protection nor means, trying to control the unfathomable.

These events have served as a catalyst for the movement known as Doctors United for their Rights (MUD, from its Spanish acronym). We are fed up with the dreadful working conditions we face in spite of the sacrifices made to become doctors and the responsibility we take on an everyday basis, with human lives depending on us. Many Spaniards were unaware of this situation during the years prior to the current health crisis, when a progressive and disguised deterioration of our position in the Spanish Health System was taking place, which is now dehumanised due to the utter lack of resources.

Among some of these circumstances is the increasing assistential pressure, with some doctors assuming two or three times the usual workload at the expense of our vocational dedication, which causes an inadmissible thickening of waiting lists that is already making people die. Not to mention the growing number of unpunished acts of aggression against doctors, which are seemingly invisible to our legislators. This has led to a more and more defensive medical decision making that does not contribute to help the patients. In short, the constant abuse by our leaders, far from having us fit for duty, leads us to exhaustion with the illusion of economising in a National Health System which would have already collapsed if not for the involvement of its professionals. Willing to die to protect the health of the Spanish citizens, doctors in this country have been deferring their own well-being until they have found themselves in a dreadful, incomprehensible position at all levels, almost without noticing it.

However, given the exceptional situation Spain is experiencing, we must once again keep working professionally, ethically and with absolute dedication, even if putting our health and that of our loved ones at risk, so that the system can be sustained. These poor working conditions are eventually making us sick, and if we continue carrying out our activity without protection, we will not be able to keep taking care of our patients.

Therefore, the short-term goal of this movement called MUD is to unite and organise all Spanish doctors. We seek to promote the unity within the medical profession to try to change a system which has always turned a deaf ear to our needs as professionals. Our leaders have used that vocation that always precedes and, at the same time, condemns us as an excuse to avoid their duties. We are neither a union nor a political party, but a non-profit institution composed solely of doctors working in Spain. We want to join forces to demand our leaders the necessary changes that will improve not only our working conditions, but also the way we look after our patients, so that Spaniards can have the best health system possible. We have always complained about the lack of time, the overload of responsibilities, and the fact that we were always too involved in clinical practice to deal with our own rights as workers. The absence of common initiative and will to stay united we have all shown, without exception, has prevented our goals from becoming facts. We need to see an actual improvement in our situation instead of waiting indefinitely and settling for minor changes that do not imply a real change. We want to empower doctors to fight together for professional dignity. We want to stand for the best health system possible, and we sincerely hope for your help because together we are unstoppable.