It has been two years since the pandemic began. Since then, the healthcare system has responded to the needs of citizens as well as it could and the results of its efforts have just been published in the Annual Report of the National Health System 2020-2021. If you are thinking of traveling to Spain this year, in this article we will tell you about the country’s healthcare situation and what it has in store for the second half of 2022. Read on!
The Spain of 2022 and the concept of public, free and universal health care
The healthcare crisis caused by Covid-19 led to the intervention of the private healthcare system, which was placed at the disposal of the National Health System (SNS). The results of their alliance were published in April this year and showed that the entire population can have health coverage financed by public funds.
The real question is how much of the population is the National Health System capable of providing care? Since it is the main health care provider, this system is able to cover 96.5% of the population.
However, even if this concept of universal health care is to be implemented, not everyone has the same opportunities, services and guarantees, and it may lack solvency and viability.
The Alianza de la Sanidad Privada Española (ASPE) considers that the principles of equity, accessibility, cohesion and gratuity stipulated by the General Health Law of 1986 are difficult to maintain due to the exponential growth in the demand for care, the increase in costs and the immobility of the system.
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How much is the healthcare expenditure?
Since the pandemic, investment in public healthcare increased to €81.95 billion, an amount which accounts for 70.7% of total public spending and which has increased by 15% since 2015.
Data from the Annual Report on the National Health System 2020-2021 show that public healthcare spending represents 6.6% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which allocates an average of 1,732 euros to each inhabitant. Likewise, most of the public expenditure is taken up by curative care and rehabilitation services.
But, seen from a general perspective, these numbers are in line with the large size of a system like this, since it is a great productive engine and important generator of employment in the country.
Thanks to the public health system, more than 366,000 people have jobs and each one of them works to provide complete and quality care to those who need it despite the congestion due to Covid-19.
What is the current situation in Spain with respect to Covid-19?
According to the latest official balance sheet, provided by the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center, the latest report on the victims of Covid-19 showed 12,238,073 confirmed cases and 107,906 as the total number of deaths.
Similarly, the vaccination process has been quite organized, with a total of 96,980,642 doses delivered and a total of 95,071,546 doses administered to citizens.
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Spain’s healthcare system: strengths and weaknesses
Spain’s healthcare system, even with the Covid-19 crisis, has great strengths in its favor: the competitive nature of its management gives it a vision, mission and objectives that revolve around the patient, who is the most important thing. This is due to its universalist vocation and the quality of its professionals.
From its own competitiveness stems its efficiency, safety, quality, sense of innovation and constant improvement of productivity. For ASPE, this sector is highly qualified to drive technological innovation and research in the healthcare field.
However, in terms of its weaknesses, it is possible that the population perceives private healthcare as a replacement for the public system. In conditions requiring agility and promptness, it is not convenient to access the public system, since, although it works, its waiting lists are very long.
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In closing, the efficiency of the National Health System is directly linked to its capacity for analysis and anticipation of predictable problems. However, the healthcare stress of the different foundations and their representatives has left as an opinion that the capacity of reaction and planning is what is capable of saving lives.
If you want to know more about the current situation in Spain, you can always visit our TAS Consultancy blog. There, you will find detailed information about the situation in Spain and tips on how to set up your own business in Spain and succeed, no matter if you are a native or a foreigner.