Receiving quality and fast healthcare is on everyone’s mind these days, with the coronavirus (covid-19) still affecting more people. While Spain is one of the countries with the most restrictive policies in orderBy to “flatten the curve”, it has still not slowed the velocity of the spread since the lockdown ended in June 2020.
The development of the current public health-crisis has created fear among the population of contracting the virus, but also how service would be in case of needing other treatments at the national healthcare service (NHS). As a natural effect of the pandemic the treatment centers have been obliged to channel more personnel from other areas to covid-19 treatment.
Historic Perspective: Balearic Islands vs Other Spanish Communities #
When comparing the development over time it is important to compare the Balearic Islands with the entire country where the waiting lists always have been lower indicating a more effective public health care system. The average rate per 1.000 habitants indicated for the year ended in 2019 that 10.61 people were on a waiting list which is lower than the national average of 15.53. Also, probability of a patient being on a waiting list fore more than 60 days is only 5.3%. This is when compared to the national average of 19.9%.
However, there are outliers, for example, Madrid, Galicia, and La Rioja. Moreover, the same goes for the number of average days for patients on a waiting list where the average was 79 days for the year of 2019. All considered looking at the historic perspective the islands of Baleares have been more effective treating their patients faster then the average of other communities in Spain.
Current Waiting Periods and Development Post Covid-19 #
The current (SARS-CoV-2) health crisis has already destabilized the economy. The public healthcare system in Spain is doing their best to cope with the massive demand for hospital care which has resulted in a prioritization of other parts of the healthcare system. After reviewing the development of the last twelve months at the starting point in October 2019, the average waiting period for the first consultancy was 34.27 days, where the average for the month ending September 30th was 64.72.
To put it another way there was an increase of inefficiency of 88% from the year before. Even in this might seem like a high increase, a lot worse for the residents has been the waiting for surgical treatments where in the same period the average days waiting has had an unfortunate development from being under the national average of 2019 at 72.49 days to 149 days at the end of September 2020 which translates to a bit over a 100% increase in days waiting for the residents.
Then was has changed in the last twelve months? #
When considering the recent development, the health crises we are currently living in and will be for the unforeseeable future. A health care system above average in Spain, are moving towards lower levels of certainty that a resident can get quick and reliable treatment if needed. Prioritizing of the hospitals have affected most of the surgical treatments with astonishing increasing increments with above 100% and an increasing trend also for the near future. When considering what we have analyzed thus far it would not be unusual, for instance, waiting 400 or 500 days for at surgical treatment. Likewise, that some surgical treatments like Neurosurgery have an average waiting period of 242 days in the end of September 2020.
As a resident with right to Spanish national health care many becomes frustrated and with reason. One thing is to have to deal with the fear of contracting the novel coronavirus, another is that in case you would need public health care for almost anything else you are asked to please wait twice as much as just one year ago. With the 763% increase in patients on the waiting list for surgical treatments more than 60 days the outlook also speaks for a medium outlook before contracting to pre coronavirus levels. It is still important to note that even if the levels of waiting periods are alarming and people living on the islands should be aware that public health care isn't what it was pre Covid levels, one would still be prioritized to treatment if the case is severe or extremely urgent.
However, if the second wave hit harder than what we have already experienced it will be extremely difficult to cope with both COVID-19 and other cases. The current occupation of covid-19 cases, in the intensive care unit at hospitals on the Balearic Islands consist of just 17,48% and which is well below the national average of roughly 30%. Of the rest of the hospital beds only 7,92% are occupied by COVID-19 cases against 16,4% national. So even if the numbers are better than the national average in both cases, it is obvious that the prioritization has created a bottleneck effect and with even the smallest increase in the waiting periods could double in days.
How to make sure you get treatment fast if you need it #
The current health crises have really helped making residents in Spain aware of private health care options and that they can be obtained for relatively modest amounts depending on the desired coverage. With private health care options, you don't have to stand in line and be prioritized and you have the possibility to freely choose among more than 25.000 professionals in all Spain depending on the provider. That means that some situations where you were to wait 149 days with the national healthcare system, can be done in matter of days or a couple of weeks. These are the 10 biggest Health Insurance providers in Spain and their latest rating according to the Spanish consumer organization OCU.
In Conclusion #
Furthermore, a lot of people are unaware that they can deduct the Health Insurance, either through their employment, or the case they are self-employed/autonomo. This makes an already attractive way to secure your family and yourself more attractive.
The private Health Insurances are therefore a way to secure your chances of rapid treatment and consultancy even when times are crazy at the national healthcare services on the Balearic Islands.
In case you have any questions regarding the above written article or if you whish to hear more about how to obtain a better coverage for you and your family please don't hesitate to contact:
Whatsapp/cell: +34 639268780
Email: [email protected]
Por Pasquale Specchio
9 noviembre, 2020