A historic ruling

I have to say, I am very satisfied with the ruling of the Constitutional Court of 30 April 2015 on the process to outsource the management of six public hospitals in Madrid. At Ribera Salud, we have abstained from making public statements on the matter because we do not want to participate in the ongoing clash between public and private models, a debate that is particularly acute at election time. However, I do want to express my wholehearted and genuine satisfaction on the ruling on my blog. And this is not because I have ever had any doubts as to the constitutionality of public-private collaboration in Spain.  I was sure that it was constitutional. And it isn’t because of the moral backing given to the Regional Health Department of Madrid by a ruling handed down by the highest court in Spain in its favour following the withdrawal of the public tender process.

My satisfaction stems from the fact that the members of Constitutional Court have unanimously ruled that the private management of public health is upheld by the Spanish Constitution.

My satisfaction stems from the fact that the members of highest court in Spain have unanimously declared that the Spanish Constitution protects the right to health care for all Spaniards, and that indirect management by private entities does not violate that right. (And if I may say so, in my opinion it contributes to making that might sustainable over time.)

My satisfaction stems from the fact that for the first time the Constitutional Court has thoroughly explored the issue and made it clear that both direct management of public health through the government and indirect management of public health through public-private collaboration serve to defend, protect and maintain this right of the Spanish people to receive public health care.

I believe that this ruling represents a before and after in the legal foundations of our way of understanding health management. And no, it isn’t just that Law 15/97 allows for new forms of management. This time, it is the Spanish Constitution that has defended a right and supported the use of different management instruments and formulas to make this right effective. Moreover, this ruling represents the unanimous decision of all members of the Court.

I am proud to be working with a public-private collaboration model that makes it possible for all governments to comply with the Spanish Constitution while guaranteeing that citizens may enjoy the right to health and public protection in a democratic and advanced welfare state.

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