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0:59 - Does Portugal have fewer obstetricians than other countries?

0:59 – Does Portugal have fewer obstetricians than other countries?

Data are from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and show the rate of obstetricians and gynecologists per thousand inhabitants, in 21 EU member states, since 2000.

In the most recent index, going back to 2019, Portugal ranked 10th, with a rate of 0.18 doctors per thousand inhabitants. Located between Slovenia and Luxembourg, the Portuguese Index is lower than countries such as Greece, Germany, Austria and Italy, but higher than 11 other member countries such as Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Spain and France. Ireland has the lowest number of obstetricians per thousand inhabitants: 0.08.

But how many specialists are there in Portugal? The absolute figures, also for 2019, are 1850 obstetricians in Portugal. And this number has increased uninterruptedly since 2000. The country now has 514 more obstetricians than at the beginning of the millennium, a 38% growth rate.


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Evolution of the number of obstetricians
in Portugal

The chart below shows another related indicator: it measures the ratio between the number of obstetricians and gynecologists available in relation to registered births. In 2000, there were approximately 11 professionals for every thousand children born. Currently there are almost twice as many, and there are more than 21 specialists.


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Obstetricians and Gynecologists
For every thousand live births

The number of doctors in Portugal has increased. In 2000 there were 31,664 doctors and now there are 54,744 doctors, and there are more than 23,000 doctors. In the annual variance curve for physicians (see chart below) there are only two years, 2003 and 2012, in which the growth of obstetricians exceeded the growth of physicians in the country.

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Annual growth in the number of doctors
Obstetricians and gynecologists*

*in Portugal. express accounts

This difference in the growth rate of these professionals leads to a continuous weight loss for obstetricians in the total number of doctors available. In 2000, the proportion of obstetricians constituted 4.2% of the total number of physicians and currently represents 3.4%.


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Weight (%) for obstetricians and gynecologists
In the total number of doctors in Portugal