The ratio of spending, doctors and hospital beds per patient is low in the region. / sur

Andalucía is way down list of health care spending in Spain, according to Ministry of Health

Junta sources have told SUR that the figure given by Madrid for the region is incorrect

Ángel Escalera

Andalucía is way down the list of health care spending per inhabitant, at 1,463 euros a year, according to figures just released by Spain's Ministry of Health. Only three regions spend less: Madrid, with 1,298 euros per inhabitant, Catalonia (1,392) and Murcia (1,453). The average for Spain is 1,559 euros.

At the top of the list are the Basque Country (2,028 euros), Asturias (2,010 euros), Extremadura (1,934 euros), Navarra (1,913 euros, Castilla y León (1,841 euros) and Castilla-La Mancha (1,785 euros).

Although in Andalucía the amount spent on health care per inhabitant has been rising since 2018, it has not been enough to move it higher up the list. In that year it was 1,169 euros, and it then increased to 1,251 euros the following year, 1,303 euros in 2020 and 1,383 last year.

However, sources at the Andalusian Ministry of Health have told SUR that the figure given by the Ministry in Madrid is incorrect, and the amount spent per inhabitant has actually been set at 1,482 euros this year.

Number of doctors

Another indicator of the health situation in a region is the number of doctors. The College of Doctors in Malaga has said that there are 23,399 in Andalucía, which equates to 2.8 per 1,000 inhabitants. This is also the second lowest ratio in the country after Ceuta and well below the national average of 3.4 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants.

Again, there is a discrepancy between the statistics: the Andalusian Health Ministry reports that there are 3.4 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants in the region and 3.32 in Malaga province.

Hospital beds

In terms of the number of hospital beds available, in 2020 the Andalusian Health Service had a ratio of 1.75 beds per 1,000 inhabitants, the lowest in the country. Second worst was the Canary Islands with 2.15 and the Balearics with 2.18.

The Ministry said that Andalucía currently has 15,616 hospital beds, and a ratio of 1.6 per 1,000 inhabitants, and 98.96% of the beds are active. In Malaga province there are 2,788 hospital beds, and a ratio of 1.5 per 1,000 people, which is the lowest rate in Spain.