Navigation Links
Austerity cuts to Spanish healthcare system are 'putting lives at risk'

A series of austerity reforms made by the Spanish government could lead to the effective dismantling of large parts of the country's healthcare system, with potentially detrimental effects on the health of the Spanish people, according to new research published in BMJ.

National budget cuts of 13.65% (365m) and regional budget cuts of up to 10% to health and social care services in 2012 have coincided with increased demands on the health system, particularly affecting the elderly, disabled and those with poor mental health. The authors, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, also highlight the increase in depression, alcohol related disorders and suicides in Spain since the financial crisis hit and unemployment increased.

Spain already has one of the lowest public expenditures on healthcare for its GDP in the European Union. Further cuts of 1108m will be made to the dependency fund for elderly and disabled people in 2013, putting these vulnerable people even more at risk.

Key changes made by the Spanish government include excluding undocumented immigrants from accessing free healthcare services and increasing co-payments that patients must make for extra treatments such as drugs, prosthetics, and some ambulance trips. Authorities with devolved powers in 17 regions across Spain have also been required to make further cuts. In Madrid and Catalonia this has led to a move towards privatisation of hospitals, increases in waiting times, cutbacks in emergency services and fewer surgical procedures.

Lead author Dr Helena Legido-Quigley, Lecturer in Global Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "Our analysis is the first to look at the overall impact of austerity measures in Spain on the healthcare system and the findings are of great concern. Many of the measures taken to save money do not have a strong evidence-base. We are seeing detrimental effects on the health of the Spanish people and, if no corrective measures are implemented, this could worsen with the risk of increases in HIV and tuberculosisas we have seen in Greece where healthcare services have had severe cutsas well as the risk of a rise in drug resistance and spread of disease."

As part of the analysis, researchers conducted interviews with 34 doctors and nurses across Catalonia. Many reported feeling 'shocked', 'numbed' and 'disillusioned' about the cuts and expressed fears that 'the cuts are going to kill people'. Some also raised concerns around the 'clear intention to privatise and... make money on health and social services' and made allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest.

Co-author Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "For five years, policies to address the financial crisis have focussed almost entirely on economic indicators. Our paper sheds light on the burden of human suffering that has followed from these policies."

Co-author Jose Martin-Moreno, Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Valencia, added: "I believe that this article sheds some much-needed light on the details of the cuts we are seeing in the Spanish health system. In fact, the cuts in public health expenditure, which are being implemented in response to a general economic crisis, are coming at a moment when health systems need morenot fewerresources, among other reasons, to deal with the adverse health effects associated with unemployment. Cuts to essential health services, when insufficiently assessed or supported by evidence, can destabilise the health system, threatening not only equal access to healthcare, but also health care quality, which can even generate increases in other costs in the long term."


Contact: Katie Steels
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Study reveals austeritys harmful impact on health in Greece
2. Heavy Duty Alternators and Starters Expert Elreg Distributors Ltd. Meets Needs of International Market with Launch of Spanish Website
3. The Best Spanish Flashcard App for iTunes and Android are Now Available from Noyo Learning
4. Spanish scientists develop a pioneering technique to effectively treat mucositis
5. FileHold Systems Announces: Spanish Language Pack for FileHold Document Management software is now a Standard Feature
6. Spanish researchers link cancer to failures in chromosome protection for the first time
7. The Escuela de Ayurveda de California Announces its 2013 Live Internet Ayurvedic Program Offered in Spanish Throughout Latin America
8. "El libro de cocina ayurvédica" Now Available in Spanish Through Escuela de Ayurveda de California
9. "Ayurveda y la Mente" by Dr. David Frawley is Now Available in Spanish through Escuela de Ayurveda de California
10. Get the Grill Ready: Fresh Spanish Calçots Available for Pre-Order at
11. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers analyze how Spanish smoking relapse booklets are distributed
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... NC (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Dawes, Amanda Beard and Brooke Bennett are collaborating with brands across various categories ... These four influential figures make up an elite group of Gold Medal Moms ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... City, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... as a 2015-2016 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is ... the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... stressful. At the VA Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program ... “Caregivers have a difficult job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research ... U.S. require dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase ... “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Museum of Science & ... a new era of publicly accessible automated technology. Now, by popular demand, the ... guests an up-close look at the shuttle at MOSI’s main entrance. This experience ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 North America was ... grow at a CAGR of 7.6% from 2015 to 2020. ... 135.6 million in 2014, and is expected to grow at a ... to the new Market Research Report "North America Cardiac Output Monitoring ... (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis And Forecast To 2020", the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Six Months Ended 30 September 2015 2014RestatedChange%Turnover 545,575 , 518,852 , ... , 384,242 , 9.8 Hospital Management Service ... (18.3) Medical Insurance Administration Service Income , 2,780 ... Devices and Accessories Sales , 89,645 , 94,580 ... 2,822 , 2,917 , (3.3) ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... been the norm in U.S. medical imaging ... The increasingly popular accountable care payer-provider contracts ... models and, in their wake, alter provider-vendor ... quality-based payments will push forward new purchasing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: