• The story of Alzira in two speeches

    It´s been a month since the Valencian government took over the management of La Ribera Health Department. After almost 20 years of private management, on 1st April, La Ribera began a new stage of direct public management. There are many conclusions to be made about the whole situation, which I will discuss in future blog…

  • The future of healthcare

    Last weekend the Club de los Viernes held an open house in Madrid, which I had the pleasure to attend. The agenda included a conference on the future of healthcare, with recognized speakers, gathered at a round table where the current challenges faced by this sector were highlighted, such as the involvment of the Public Administrations.

  • Shared Objectives

    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…

  • The night of the journalists

    The Valencian Community Journalistic Awards were presented last night. It was an event organised by CSIF (The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions) and an event that we have supported since its very first edition. It’s a very special night on which media professionals from the three provinces come together to pay tribute to the award…

  • A year full of contrasts

    This morning I went to the Casa de América in Madrid, a beautiful place that always reminds me of the roots that connect Spain and Latin America. My visit was due to Ribera being acknowledged by the Asociación por la Excelencia de los Servicios Públicos for the work that we have carried out in the Ribera Department.…

  • The Value of Transparency

    The healthcare publication New Medical Economics has awarded Ribera Salud the prize for ‘Best Society Transparency Policy’, as voted by the Editorial Board and its readers. We collected the award yesterday in Madrid, and I must say that I am particularly excited to receive this acknowledgement given the present situation.

  • Harvard: innovation and transformation as managers of change

    I’ ve come Boston where I’ve participated in a very interesting conference hosted by Harvard University on the sustainability of public health systems. It strikes me that while in universities as prestigious as this one conferences of such high level are usually held back in Spain people are more worried about simple debates. In our country, people…

  • Alzira model: innovative management experiences

    This morning, in Madrid, I attended the launch of the book “Colaboración público-privada en sanidad: el Modelo Alzira” (Public-private partnership in health: the Alzira Model). This book, which aims to analyse the performance of Valencian healthcare concessions and their role within the public health system, compares their results with those of some Catalan public and…

  • For accountability, transparency and good governance

    Unfortunately, we are currently hearing  some speeches from certain groups who intend to influence public opinion by spreading all kinds of claims against public-private collaboration so as to eliminate or reverse it. In healthcare, little or no importance is given to the management model developed by Ribera Salud which provides fair access to health services;…

  • How much longer do I have to wait?

    The latest regional data collected by the Government shows that surgery waiting times have increased again within the Spanish National Health Service (SNS) and, once again, I am regret to see that the SNS surgery waiting list has again become catastrophic. According to the latest figures published last week by the Ministry of Health, the…

  • 2017 Defensores de la Salud Award (an award that recognises the work of prestigious Spanish companies and institutions in the field of healthcare)

    Last Friday, in Elche, we celebrated the seventh anniversary of the Hospital Universitario del Vinalopó with the handover of the Defensores de la Salud Awards, which this year have recognised the career of some great professionals: former socialist minister Julián García Vargas (Minister of Health and Consumer Affairs between 1986 and 1991) and the editorial…

  • Red lines

    The global challenges faced by public health have given rise to a worldwide debate on the issue. I have had the opportunity to participate in many forums invited by governments, universities, and multilateral institutions to contribute with our vision, experience, and strategies.

  • A public soul

    In recent weeks I haven’t wanted to pay too much attention to the media, because the public statements against public-private collaboration in healthcare give me intellectual anxiety.

  • Consensus to move forward together

    Good news for the professionals of the Ribera Salud group. Recently, the second Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Health Department of Torrevieja was unanimously signed with all union representatives; and yesterday also saw unanimous closure of the fourth Collective Bargaining Agreement for professionals of La Ribera Health Department. Both agreements provide a unique framework of…

  • Chronicle of a demographic crisis foretold

    Through this digital window I always try to submit relevant articles or facts that may be interesting and useful in forming an opinion. Often I’m aware that I may seem repetitive, but there are issues that cause me great concern and, above all, disquiet because I see that many of them -or that’s the impression…

  • Let there be light!

    I have always insisted that the more private partnership there is, the greater the public control required. For years we have been demanding an observatory on public-private partnership to evaluate and transmit to society the value generated by this management model, similar to what happens in other countries of our beloved European Union. Very often…

  • New lifeblood for Valencian Health Care

    For another year, Ribera Salud has been working together with the Valencia Collegiate of Physicians Foundation to reward the best score on the 2016 Resident Internal Medical (MIR) exam and award grants for the European exams. In this year´s edition, the winners are Dr. Javier Pitarch, Dr. Guillermo Hernandez and Dr. Maria Pacheco.

  • Manuel Marín In Memoriam

    Manuel Marin Ferrer, former managing director of the Hospital Universitario de La Ribera (Alzira) and its Department of Health, has passed away. When those of us who knew and worked with him learned of this news, we were greatly saddened. Manolo only retired last January when he was able, at last, to enjoy the company…

  • Health, a sector on the waiting list

    I have recently read some articles that pretty much sum up the worrying situation of the Spanish public health finances and how this has affected the huge increase in waiting lists. In other words, costs are on the rise and healthcare figures are simultaneously deteriorating. Greater expenditure and a degenerated service.

  • In a normal country

    Health waiting lists are one of those things that seriously affect the daily lives of the general public. Recently the Ministry of Health presented the figures on surgical waiting lists, which came to 57,898 people, with the average delay running to 120 days. According to this estimate, Valencians have to wait on average over four…

  • His first day at work

    Yesterday I visited Alzira to attend the presentation of the new director of the Health Department of La Ribera, Dr Javier Palau. It comes as no surprise that news of his appointment has been prominent in local and national communication media, because our way of understanding healthcare, the management model of Ribera Salud, continues to…

  • The elephant in the room

    Last week I published an editorial in the journal El Economista Comunitat Valenciana to reflect on the current status of the pensions nest egg and what its situation would be in the not-too-distant future. I also wanted to share this on my blog. I hope you like it.

  • Collective briefing sessions

    I look in amazement at the strange ‘collective briefing sessions’ initiative that has recently been put into place in the Valencian public healthcare system. It seems like the aim is to cut waiting lists, a great and unfair weakness in the traditional public healthcare system, by combining briefing sessions with ‘pre-anesthesia consultations’ for a large…

  • New year, new healthcare

    2015 was a turning point in the history of Ribera Salud. We have strengthened our presence in the Valencian Community by becoming the majority shareholder at the Health Departments of Alzira, Torrevieja and Vinalopó. Through these deals, our group has consolidated its leading position in the concessions sector.

  • The nitty gritty

    It is a fact that healthcare is subject to permanent public debate which it has to live with. A different issue is whether I consider this to be positive or negative; but to not acknowledge it would be naïve.

  • From Alzira to Boston

    On November 3 I had one of the most exciting professional experiences of my long career. I had the honor and privilege to sit in an MBA Class at the University of Harvard in Boston (Massachusetts), where our management model at the University Hospital of La Ribera was presented as a business case study.

  • BIC Awards, rewarding health service excellence for ten years

    Once again we have reason to celebrate at Ribera Salud. Once again, the outstanding daily work carried out by our professional staff has been publicly recognised by one of the most important healthcare awards in Spain, the Best in Class Awards. These awards, -organised by the Rey Juan Carlos University Chair of Innovation and Health…

  • A warning from Europe

    As you all know, I enjoy writing about health but, being the economist that I am, what really interests me is macroeconomics. This being so, I would like to share with you my column which was recently published in the journal The Economist Valencian Community, whom I would like to thank for their interest in…

  • Sustainability of healthcare systems is a cause for concern to the OECD

    For readers of this blog, it will come as no surprise that I echo the findings of international reports which raise concerns about sustainability problems which our healthcare systems will have to face in the future. This time it is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which has produced a report detailing its…

  • From Canada

    Imagine a country with a decentralized health system. Imagine a country where 40% of the regional government’s budget is dedicated to health expenditure. Imagine a country where health expenditure growth exceeds the GDP over the last 15 years. Imagine a country where the public debt of the regions is the highest in the world. After…

  • Jeremy Hunt’s thoughts

    Today I would like to give up my blog to the UK’s Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, who has talked about our Model in a national event in London. You can find here a brief summary of his speech talking about Ribera’s health model: “With smart metrics we can also be less prescriptive…

  • The challenge of aging and chronicity

    This week I was in Madrid attending the ‘To Your Health’ awards, which every year brings together, at the headquarters of the «La Razon» newspaper, those organizations and professionals with the biggest pulling power in the sector. This year I also went to collect an award, as happened in 2013, when the work in our…

  • A project for the future at the service of people

    Five years have passed since the people of Elche saw an historic dream come true with the opening of the city’s second hospital. And five years is long enough to be able to draw some conclusions about the launch of what has been the most important health project in the province of Alicante in recent…

  • The Balmis expedition returns to the University

    It’s time to celebrate! Thanks to the support of our company, on 28 May the University of Alicante presented the ‘Balmis Chair in Vaccinology’. We are honoured to take a step further in our collaboration with educational institutions as prestigious as this university and see that the commitment, made together in September 2014 with all…

  • A forum open to the world

    A few weeks ago I was in Mexico participating in the World Economic Forum on Latin America. As a result of my invitation to the event, I was able to experience first hand the objectives, initiatives and hopes of a continent that is at full steam rather than one just evolving: a Colombia that faces…

  • We all need to do our part

    The DNA of the Alzira Model is based on more than just management-related tools like capitation payment, integrated care, professional incentives and information and communications technology. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the support of social initiatives and defence of public principles also play an extremely significant role. These are the values that I feel most satisfied…

  • 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…

  • Presentation of the PPP conclusions

    Firstly, I would like to thank the Valencia Business Confederation (CEV) for the trust placed in me to chair this working group which, four months after its creation, can already put forward an initial assessment on its presence in Valencia. Many thanks to all its members, -Aguas de Valencia, Pavasal, Logitren, Hidraqua, Eulen, the Federation…

  • There can be no welfare state without public-private partnerships

    The central government recently published the 2015 public deficit data of all the Public Sector Institutions and there is a worrying fact: nearly all the autonomous regions have failed to comply with the deficit ceilings committed to at European Union level. It is clear that autonomous regions have to bear most of the expenses necessary…

  • 19th National Hospital Congress

    Last week, Alicante hosted the 19th National Hospital Congress. Sadly, for work reasons, I was unable to attend this massive gathering of over 2.000 health professionals from the whole of Spain. There were friends there who I would have liked to meet. Taking part in this year’s edition was important to me for several reasons.…

  • 6 years celebrating freedom

    Last night, the Valencian Community journalism prizes were awarded in Valencia. Once again, Ribera Salud took part in this great CSIF initiative which, after six years, has fulfilled the objective which it was created for: to recognise the work carried out by media professionals. Every year, this great event is filled with warmth and professionalism.…

  • A brighter future?

    02Job security, ensuring a decent salary and office hours are at the top of millions of young Spaniards’ wish lists; or so the statistics would indicate. According to the report Young Business Talents, young Spaniards are the most likely out of all Europeans to opt for a position in the civil service as the best…

  • A European comparison

    In order to form an objective opinion you need reliable information. This axiom, which is applicable to life in general, is particularly important in the field of management. Without information, without rigorous analysis, without a comparative view, it’s extremely difficult to work out the stronger and weaker points of any discussion. Without clear, accurate documentation…

  • An Inconvenient Truth

    To all followers of my blog and to those of you who know me in person, I know that I can sometimes appear to be rather insistent; I’m aware of this, but I’ll still never tire of saying that we have a great public healthcare system, one which incorporates strong values and helps to maintain…

  • Better Together

    The building of public health system in the UK was a great social achievement for the British people and a great inspiration to many other countries in Europe. In fact, the National Health Service (NHS) has been adapted and copied by many nations, as is the case in Spain. I still remember how the opening…

  • Political and Trade Unions support to Muface Model

    Public private partnership models have a long tradition in the Spanish healthcare system. It is the case of the Spanish model for dispensing chemists, an example of private management of public services, which is highly valued by the citizens. However, in terms of healthcare management, we must distinguish three fundamental models: Muface, the concession system…

  • The opinion of the professionals about healthcare

    12The consultant firms Deloitte and Pharma Talents recently presented a study on ‘The current situation of the health system in Spain and its future prospects’. I think it is worth taking a closer look at the data provided by this survey which counted on the participation of more than 3,000 professionals in the sector. For…

  • We want an independent health observatory

    Whenever I have occasion in my talks with the media, in conversations with industry peers, in forums and debates in which I participate, I say there needs to be more transparency in the data we provide to the public, both from the public and private sectors. To do so it is vitally important to create…

  • From Here to Lima

    This is the title of an article of mine that was published in the newspaper El Mundo this Sunday as part of a special feature dedicated to the 16th anniversary of the foundation of Ribera Salud and the public-private model of healthcare. I like it because it summarised the philosophy of an innovative and pioneering…

  • DATA, DA TA, DATA. More reflections on Madrid Hospitals (part 2)

    Now that the externalization process in Madrid has been cancelled, one must wonder, “and now… what?”. If this is the end and there’s nothing else to be done, if the static vision of the public system succeeds in order to avoid any change, then, we’ll be spending 200 million € paid by the citizens’ taxes (according…