Primary health care is presented in most autonomous communities as the ‘poor sister’ of health spending, especially after the cuts suffered in the previous financial crisis, from which it has not recovered despite one of the worst pandemics in history, in which nearby health services were crucial. Although each Spanish autonomy has a different population structure and rural dispersion, a cursory analysis percentage intended for health centers of primary care in relation to total health spending shows that things can be greatly improved. Correcting these imbalances is the workhorse of the doctors and health workers who are protesting in supposedly wealthy communities, such as Madrid and Catalonia, and who are in full negotiation to avoid greater evils.
The first conclusion that emerges from the data is that no autonomous community in Spain respects the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). invest 25% of the total health budget in primary health care have services that are strong enough to guarantee access to health care for all its residents. The differences between regions are notorious. Specifically, Doc Andalusia is the one that spends the most on PA, with 17.66%The Community of Madrid is the region that invests the least in this sector, allocating only 10.66% of the budget, almost 15 points below what was proposed.
The situation has prompted family doctors across the capital to call for mobilization, starting the second week of an indefinite strike this Monday. Professionals are looking for an increase in the budget at least up to the national average, three points above the current one. The context is very similar to the one that woke up Catalonia these days, where the union Metges announced a strike next January 25 and 26 as a protest against the situation in Catalan public health. The administration of Pere Aragonès invests barely 13% in this service, almost one point below the average of 13.92% in Spain as a whole.
Although health spending is decentralized and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the CCAA, in 2023 the Ministry of Health will dispose of EUR 2,746.17 million, 7.83% more than in 2022. Which will allow, for example, to improve the current infrastructure of primary health care and mental health with a certain group 500 million euros. However, both trade unions and Amnesty International consider this to be insufficient.
Madrid, okay in health and primary care
According to the latest data published on the transparency portal of the Ministry of Health, La Rioja (with 22.52%), Catalonia (16.82%), Murcia (13.09%) and the Balearic Islands (12.4%) are the autonomies that increased their the primary protection budget the most in the last year. On the contrary, it was Galicia that made the least effort to continue adding amounts. From the query They are asking for that money to be doubled to reduce long waiting lists and speed up the doctor’s service.
Per above average They are located in Andalusia, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Navarra, Murcia, La Rioja, Cantabria, the Community of Valencia, the Canary Islands and the Basque Country. For their part, Aragon, Asturias, Catalonia, Castilla – La Mancha, the Balearic Islands, Galicia and Madrid follow at the bottom.
Despite the fact that, especially after the pandemic, great concern was created for the care of the public health system, expenditures for health centers are still more than 0.6 points lower than in 2010, the year in which the first budget cuts caused by the economic crisis were made. In addition, more funding was allocated to the pharmaceutical field and specialized care (doctors and hospitals) than to primary health care.