As an exercise in transparency, the council have recently published the latest opinion poll. This is a barometer which the Government carry out annually which collects data of great interest in order to understand the concerns of the Valencian people. In this new gauge of the Valencian society, health has climbed to second position, becoming one of the main worries for citizens, according to the 2,016 people of whom completed the survey. Each of them named their three priorities in each aspect and, in terms of health specifically, the most mentioned topic and indeed the one which the Health Ministry have defended so strongly, the private management of a public service, doesn’t appear in the top positions.
On the other hand, the most common priority is the reduction in time spent on waiting lists, followed by the hiring of more health professionals, a reduction in the cost of medication for patients and dedication to more resources for disease prevention. A mere 5% mentioned the overturning of contracts as a priority. Do these conclusions surprise you? They don’t surprise me.
In Ribera Salud we have reiterated for the last 15 years that the public worry not about who manages them but how they are managed.
What citizens really value is not having to wait months to be attended to and that they are diagnosed as quickly as possible in order to begin treatment. They value the close relationship with their health professional who knows their history and can communicate with them without fear of taboos in a close, intimate and trusting environment. Patients want innovation. They like communicating with their specialists and consulting their clinic history through mobile applications or online because, as well as giving them piece of mind, it allows them mobility. They value health promotion and disease prevention activities, but they don’t consider who is offering these benefits.
This, which may seem evident, is the general feeling of the citizens, which concurs with the assessment of our company. Ribera Salud is delighted that the two visions go hand in hand.
I am confident that this barometer will serve to improve the atmosphere surrounding both public private collaboration and all private companies that extend their services to Public Administration and I truly hope that these results serve to reshape the current health policy.
Following this social climate study, it seems unacceptable that public private collaboration remains a priority for politicians when it is not the case for citizens. Let us unite. I always say: Let us unite. Both the public sector and the private sector share the main objective of simply offering the best public health service to our citizens. Knowing the great challenges that we face in the health system, I don’t think we should allow ourselves to be an exclusively public country.