Public Health cuts in Spain

After the announcement of even more imminent cuts in public health services, which would leave several villages without health services, without warning and without providing alternatives to the Burgos region of La Bureba, some three hundred people demonstrated today in front of the Health Centre of Briviesca, to demand that health not be messed with.

The situation is not new. The Platform for the Quality of Primary Care in La Bureba says that, thanks to at least two reorganization plans, since 2012 many doctors and nurses jobs have been eliminated in the Bureba, either by transferring them to urban health centers, or simply by eliminating them, ‘accumulating’ to the workload of the remaining staff.

This Platform argues that year after year the percentage of the total health budget devoted to Primary Health Care has been reduced. Primary Care is apparently the most efficient healthcare environment, since it solves more than 85% of health problems with the 14% of total health expenditure. However, in recent years we have seen more investment in expensive hospitals with private management models than in primary care.

In 2014 at least 300 burebanos protested against further substantial reductions in human resources in Briviesca. It can be argued that, although the population has decreased, jobs are eliminated in greater proportion than the decrease in population and without taking into account the summer period of each year when both workers’ holidays and the increase in the population in the area happen. It is accepted that a reordering of primary care in rural areas is necessary, but without a reduction in staff, and taking into account the exceptional nature of certain times of the year. One proposal that seems to be being considered is the organization of transporting patients to the health center, instead of the doctor having to travel.

Today, March 9, 2018, the mayors of La Bureba call the population back to the protest to try to stop the progressive dismantling of the health system in rural areas.

At the end of the rally, the mayor of Oña addressed the attendees,