One in four in Spain, around 12 million people, has private health insurance of some sort

One in four in Spain, around 12 million people, has private health insurance of some sort

According to the latest data, the nation's spending on private healthcare in a 12-month period was 36.8 billion euros, around 14% more than the previous year

Álvaro Soto

Sunday, 28 April 2024, 08:32


Private healthcare in Spain continues its upward growth. One in four of the population, over 12 million people, already had such a policy in 2023, 400,000 more than the previous year. These are the figures provided by the latest study on the private healthcare market by IDIS Foundation, a company with strong links to the sector.

Waiting lists, Covid-19 and a greater need to see a doctor on demand explain the rise. "After the pandemic, more people are seeking healthcare, partly due to increased awareness about our health, but also because of the ageing of the population and our busy lives," said IDIS president Juan Abarca Simón. In this case, using data from 2021 (the latest available), consumers in Spain spent 36.8 billion euros on private healthcare, 14% more than the previous year. This includes services such as insurance, medication and dental care.

These figures represent 3.1% of GDP and 28.4% of total health spending, making Spain the third highest-spending country among similar nations for private healthcare, behind only Switzerland (3.6% of GDP) and Portugal (4.1% of GDP).

By autonomous region, Madrid is the region with the most private insurance (38.7% of the population has cover), ahead of Catalonia (32.4%) and the Balearic Islands (30.9%). All the other regions are below the national average (25%).

The study report mentioned that the private sector has 438 hospitals (57% of the total number of hospitals in Spain), amounting to 50,574 beds (32% of the total number of existing beds).

The study also highlighted the major role played by private healthcare in the treatment of mental health problems. Of the hospitals specialising in mental health and drug treatment care, 70% are not public, the same for beds (62%) and outpatient mental health centres (49%).

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