The covid-19 has been a test that has tested the health system and, given all the shortcomings that have emerged, solutions are needed. This is the conclusion of the Circle of Economy, which sees it as essential to put the health system at the center to deal with the coronavirus crisis and overcome it prosperously. To do this, they call for an increase in investment in health by 12.24 billion euros so that Spain’s public spending in this area is equal to that of Europe: Spain is currently at 8.9% of GDP and European average is 9.9%.
The conclusions of the Circle of Economy have been drawn up by a commission of nine specialists who have projected the needs of the state health system five years from now. “It won’t be easy, but we have to go further. Prevention is always better than cure,” said Andreu Mas-Colell, chairman of the commission of experts that drafted the report and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology ( BIST), as well as ex-minister of Economy of the Generalitat.
In this sense, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa – present this Friday afternoon at the presentation of the report – has agreed with the vision of the Circle of Economy: “We need a more preventive and not so reactive attitude “. Island, however, did not want to get into the numbers game and limited himself to saying that “structural changes are needed, such as putting primary care at the center.” So far, the head of Health has been satisfied with the increase of 3.5 billion euros in health promised by the new state budgets. “This is not a one-day flower, it must be a sustained effort,” he noted.
The Secretary of Health of the Generalitat, Marc Ramentol, also spoke at the presentation of the report; the president of the Cotec foundation, Cristina Garmendia; the president of the Circle of Economy, Javier Faus, and the secretary of Industry of the Spanish government, Raül Blanco. In fact, the industry sector is one of the areas that have generated the most debate. Both Blanco and Ramentol have agreed that the healthcare industry needs to be strengthened so that in a crisis situation companies do not have to vary their production to lend a hand in terms of health, as happened at the beginning of the pandemic when Seat began to make respirators or textile factories made masks. Blanco has stated that an industrial policy is needed “to help respond to these needs” and sees European funds to deal with the covid-19 crisis as “a window of opportunity”. Ramentol also values the European economic injection as an opportunity to bet on “digitalization and modernization”. “We lived anchored in a twentieth-century public health system,” he warned.
Spend money better
In the report, the Circle of Economy insists on the need to provide more funding to the health system, but above that, they prioritize one more aspect: spending money well. The entity advocates a total facelift, through the improvement of infrastructures – they ask that the expansion of the Hospital Clínic be carried out -, an increase in the salary of professionals, invest in new technologies and personalize care health. Challenges that can only be achieved through “efficient public-private collaboration and good coordination between administrations.”
And if from the very beginning the entity has valued the covid-19 as a “test” in the health system, all the leaders present at the event have shown their willingness to rethink the model to try to get a better score in the next exam. For now, this examination is not over, as Illa, despite being optimistic about a horizon with vaccines and saying that the situation is improving, has warned that Spain is still “bad”.