The Spanish National Health System, closer to the European public-private partnership model

Everyday a lot of voices from different parts of the world arise to support the public- private partnership in different sectors (not only in Healthcare, which is the one I live through).

The Alzira Model, a public-private partnership model, was developed by Law 15/1997, as a result of a reflection process about the future of the healthcare system in Spain. This reflection led to the “Abril Report” in the first nineties. But this report can also be considered as a result of the implemented policies of the Labour Governemnt in UK or the Social Democratic Swedish Government. However, the Local Government of Valencia Region went one step beyond, incorporating for the first time the capitation system within the public healthcare model. But we were even more advanced, the Hospital de La Ribera in Alzira, under what is referred to as an “administrative nconcession”, includes the clinical integration of primary care. This is the first time in mEurope that a healthcare model covers primary and secondary care, implementing the integrated management of the public healthcare service.

The Spanish Surgery Society organized last week the annual congress which took place in Canary Islands, where some European experts emphasized that the healthcare system should firmly believe in flexibility and efficiency. This group of experts also declared that the inflexibility of the Spanish National Health System, means a lack of productivity and resolution with patients.

Maybe this argument is right. I have to admit that in Europe, public-private partnership models have been implemented many years ago, that’s why I’d like to emphasize the effort that Spain is making to bring different mechanisms to the healthcare sector, in order to get a higher efficiency rate, and I’d like to mention particularly the Alzira Model development, which has been rolled out to the rest of Spain.

This is what Dr. Carlos Macaya, President of the Spanish Surgery Society, mentioned taking Ribera Salud and Capio as an example of public-private partnership, providing infrastructures and the capitative payment system to the State, and being considered nowadays as the alternative for the sustainability of the Public National Health System.

I’m glad the professionals, the main figures of such a necessary and claimed change in the National Health System, appreciate the benefits the private initiative bring to public sector. That’s why I’m grateful to Dr. Macaya for his words, and I wish they become an example for other sector leaders.

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