Wednesday, 20 September 2023, 15:36
Six out of ten people in Spain are satisfied with the public health system despite the cracks that were visible during the coronavirus pandemic and problems such as waiting lists.
Some 13.8% of the population consider that the health system works "fairly well", two points more than at the beginning of this year, and 46.3% believe that it "works well, although it needs some changes".
Only 11.8% think that it works badly and needs "profound changes", four points less than in the previous survey. All this data is from the second health barometer of the year, carried out in July by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS).
The general perception of the health system is improving, although this feeling sometimes contradicts the cold data. According to the CIS, 29.7% of those surveyed say that waiting lists have worsened compared to the previous barometer, ten points less than the February barometer, although in reality, according to the Ministry of Health's own reports, waiting lists beat their record in December (the latest data available), with 793,521 patients waiting for an operation. In this regard, it is worth noting that even 13.8% of those interviewed believe that the problem has improved, while another 44.8% said that it has remained the same.
Respondents agreed almost entirely that, in order to improve the system's performance, it is essential to increase the number of health care staff, that people should keep the same GP on a more regular basis if they are satisfied, and that more financial resources should be devoted to this.
Among the different health services, the best rated were the 061 and 112 emergency services, with a score of 7.49 out of ten, followed by admission and care in public hospitals, with a score of 7.33. The lowest score was recorded for specialised care consultations, with a score of 6.17. In addition, health professionals, who experienced great pressure during the pandemic and went on strike last year to demand better pay and work, received a high rating. The nurses, for their care and attention to those admitted, received a score of 8.52, ahead of the doctors, who received 8.39. The equipment and technological resources of the hospitals also received a high score of 8.38.
Some 71.6% of the population attends primary care and paediatric consultations in public health centres, in contrast to the 26.1% who visit private health services. For specialist consultations, 58.2% use public services and 39.1% use private services. Among those who have private insurance, 75.7% said that they signed up for it because of the speed with which they are attended to.
There is support for the implementation of telemedicine, although it is not unanimous. Two out of three people in Spain (64.7%) said that "some consultations could be made by telephone and others should be face-to-face", compared to 32.2% who say that "all consultations should be face-to-face".
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