Darias defends that the Budgets “shield” health, “one of the pillars of the Welfare State”

MADRID, 24 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has defended that the General State Budgets (PGE) for 2022 aim to “shield” Spanish health, “one of the pillars of the Welfare State.”

“We have presented some accounts aimed at economic, social and fair recovery, equity, social justice and universal access. The momentum is important, they encourage us to continue growing to improve people’s lives,” he stressed during his appearance before the Congress of Deputies to defend the PGE.

According to Darias, the project also includes “guaranteeing the vaccines we need” against COVID-19, as well as “shielding one of the pillars of the Welfare State” and “continuing to advance in the universality and cohesion of the National Health System.”

At a general level, the PGE 2022 allocate a contribution of 6,606 million euros for Health, which is 9.88 percent less than what was allocated last year (7,330 million euros). This decrease is due to the fact that the item destined to the acquisition of vaccines this year is lower, since the endowment of the European recovery funds goes from 2,436 million in 2021 to 733 million in 2022. To compensate for the decrease destined to the purchase of vaccines, the Government sets 439 million of the national budget for these doses.

Without taking into account European funds, the provisions for Health policy experienced an increase of 888 million euros compared to the previous year, representing an increase of 20.3 percent. The increase outside the provisions for expenses related to the acquisition of vaccines against COVID-19 is 11 percent, to 5,434 million euros.

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As Darias has highlighted, 180.2 million euros will be allocated to the development of the National Digital Health Strategy and to advance in preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic care focused on the patient. In the same way, one of the keys of the PGE for next year will be to continue with the reinforcement of the Public Health services and their capacities, which will have 1,739 million euros (including European funds), to respond to emerging threats to health, along with care for aging and chronicity.

In this sense, the PGE for 2022 contemplates up to 9.45 million euros for the start-up of the State Center for Public Health, which will foreseeably be created by law before the second half of next year. “We hope that in the near future you can have the Draft Project for its creation,” said the minister.

Regarding the Public Health Surveillance Network, in 2022 the investment continues with another 5 million euros to “have an integrated network of information systems that improves the detection of public health events and contributes to decision-making in real time”.

PP: “AN INSULT”

The budgets include an item of 176 million euros for the development of the Strategic Framework for Primary and Community Care, of which 172 will be distributed to the autonomous communities. However, the ‘popular’ deputy José Ignacio Echániz Salgado has denounced that Primary Care “once again runs out of funds for this budget.”

“In life there are occasions that are unique. This year it was, in which the health system has been subjected to an unknown tension. Although they will put us in debt for two generations, they could have served for the necessary and postponed reforms of the Spanish health system” , has criticized.

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In the same vein, he regretted that “this year European funds do not stop in health.” “They are not the object of attention or prioritization by the Government, since health only receives 1.5 percent of the funds. It is an insult to patients and all Spanish citizens. They are a train that passes again without stop in health, “he insisted.

MENTAL, ORAL HEALTH …

Meanwhile, Darias has indicated that another 44 million euros will be invested to promote the expansion of oral health services in the portfolio of services of the SNS, with the aim of homogenizing benefits in the national territory and increasing services common with special attention to the groups of children and adolescents, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

30 million euros will also be invested for the Mental Health and COVID-19 Action Plan, presented on October 9, coinciding with World Mental Health Day, by the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, and the head of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez. In 2023 and 2024, financing will continue until the investment of 100 million euros is reached.

This Action Plan, which will be worked on jointly with the autonomous communities, scientific societies, professionals and patients, will involve the launch of a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week telephone service for the prevention and care of behavior suicide.

Likewise, it will imply the deployment of actions in different lines such as the fight against the stigma of people with Mental Health problems; the promotion of the incorporation of specialists; and the promotion of emotional well-being in childhood and adolescence, in the elderly and in women.

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Darias has also maintained that a total of 28 million euros will be allocated in 2022 for the Proton therapy implantation plan in public health, thanks to the donation from the Amancio Ortega Foundation.

Along the same lines is the Investment Plan for High Technology Equipment (INVEAT), which in 2022 will add 396 million euros in capital transfers to the autonomous communities to acquire high technology equipment that will contribute to improving the diagnostic capacity of diseases in early stages.

The goals are to renew 100 percent of the equipment that is 12 or more years old, and additionally, the linear accelerators and 10-11 year CTs, in addition to raising the average rate of high-tech equipment by 17 percent. 100,000 inhabitants, progressively placing the SNS in the European average.

The deputy of United We Can Rosa María Medel has applauded the investment in public health but has spoiled that mutual funds continue to be financed: “It is said that public health is being strengthened but 5,434 million euros are dedicated in three years to private mutuals for civil servants , even if it is totally inefficient, unfair and generates inequality and inequity “.

Medel has charged against the operation of these mutuals, because, in his opinion, “it produces transfers of risks from private to public health.” “It attends to officials when the cost of the intervention is low but when it involves high treatments, patients are diverted to the public. We pay twice when there are transfers,” he denounced.