The original sin of the Alzira Model

With this post on my blog, I bid farewell to 2018, for many reasons an unforgettable year, both for me and for all the Ribera Salud team. It has been twelve months full of extraordinary news, not all good, but our team is not easily intimidated, and we look to the future; we know how to pull ourselves together and overcome setbacks, how to adapt to the circumstances of the moment and think of a brighter future. I am particularly proud of all the professionals who are part of the Ribera Salud family, since I have learnt a lot from them over the year. Without their efforts, dedication and passionate work, we would not have achieved the results that we obtained.

The recognition received during the year fills me with satisfaction, as each one of the awards is more than a well-deserved tribute to the great work carried out every day by all the experts on the projects we have been involved in: hospitals and primary care centres, central laboratory, purchasing platform, radiology companies… These awards are synonymous with the progress our projects have made, namely to make public healthcare more human and more user-friendly; an excellent future-oriented public healthcare for all the citizens we serve.

I have always maintained that the essence of innovation is not innovation itself, but the capacity to apply it to public healthcare. In this sense, we take pride in the fact that Ribera Salud has been a pioneer. We have charted a roadmap for the healthcare avant-garde, which will doubtlessly be pursued by others in the coming years.

Of all the acknowledgements received this year, there is one I am particularly proud of: the report by the Sindicatura de Cuentas (Audit Office) of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian Regional Government). I have always defended a model of public-private collaboration based on transparency, accountability, evaluation and benchmarking, whereby all the data are made available to citizens in order to explain what is being done and how it is being done. Bearing this in mind, over the years, we have argued in favour of creating a healthcare observatory which would supply this information to its owners, i.e. the citizens.

In this respect, I believe that we have taken a very important step this year in terms of public supervision of the public-private partnership model. The Valencian government itself requested the Sindicatura de Cuentas (Valencian Community Audit Office) to study the Torrevieja Department of Healthcare (Alicante). The report’s conclusions clarify in no uncertain terms the extraordinary value of the model of public-private partnership, which the Ribera Salud group has represented, led and defended.

Among its conclusions are the 30% savings for the public coffers (which this report calculates to be €45 million a year), a 38-day waiting list compared to the 120 days of the public system (resulting in improved citizens’ welfare and quality of life), lower mortality, longer life expectancy, higher investment per citizen and higher quality. Ultimately, we are providing greater quality and greater excellence at a lower cost.

This type of study is a basic tool in the management of transparency and defence of the model of public-private partnership, which has not been taken into account by those unwilling to analyse data when taking sectarian decisions. They prefer to turn a blind eye while misusing public resources to achieve the aims of an ideology which belongs to the past; the ones who do not want to face future challenges with formulas for the future, but rather by using formulas for the past… I sincerely hope that the Sindicatura de Cuentas report will mark a before and after in the making of thorough, sensible decisions, based on data and not on outdated ideological sectarianism.

Some people mentioned the original sin of the Alzira Model because it had been created by a political party. Such statements, denoting a lack of reflection and intelligence, should be avoided, especially after the publication of studies like the Sindicatura de Cuentas report on Torrevieja, because the supposed original sin of the Alzira Model has now become the original sin of those who continue to question successful models of healthcare management, simply to satisfy the whims of leaders who only think in the short-term.

I hope that the original sin of making unfounded decisions, with the untold harm caused to professionals and citizens through poorly planned reversals, will finally be banished from paradise.

Welcome to 2019!

Welcome to new projects!

P.S.: In my next post, I will speak in depth about Torrejón. Happy New Year to all!

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