Monday, February 6

The Spanish give a remarkable to health care in the pandemic

A Primary Care center in Granada. / CR

Patients value the care received in 2020 with more than 7, according to the report of the National Health System; in 2019 the grade was 6.7


Three out of four people rate their health status as good or very good, according to the 2020/2021 National Health System (SNS) Report published this Tuesday by the Ministry of Health. With the data available up to September 2021, the report incorporates some aspects related to the response of the health system to covid.

Before the pandemic, the assessment of the public health system by the population was 6.7 points out of 10 (year 2019). In this latest report, the rating is above 7 out of 10 and, specifically, Primary Care receives a rating of 7.3 points out of 10 and the activity of SNS hospitals is rated 7.1 points out of 10.

Half of adults in Spain are overweight, which affects the less well-off social classes more

According to this report, the impact of the pandemic on older people has caused a decrease in life expectancy, so that in 2020 life expectancy at birth in Spain stands at 82.3 years and continues to be more high in women (85.1 years). Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the usual cause of more than 50% of deaths, although mortality from malignant tumors has decreased by 20% in the last decade.

Regarding the different life habits, the document highlights that a third of the population aged 15 and over regularly consumes alcohol. In addition, 36% of the population aged 15 and over declared themselves sedentary in their leisure time. It also explains that two out of every 10 adults are obese and five out of 10 are overweight, affecting more the less affluent social classes.

Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the usual cause of more than half of deaths, although mortality from malignant tumors has decreased by 20% in the last decade

The report from the Ministry of Health states that analgesics are the most consumed drugs in Spain and that the group of drugs used in diabetes is the one that bills the highest amount in SNS medical prescriptions. On the other hand, antineoplastic, immunosuppressive and antiviral drugs for systemic use are the ones that represent the greatest amount in the hospital pharmacy.

Public health spending stood at 6.6% of GDP (81,590 million euros), constituting 70.7% of total health spending in 2019 and has increased by 15% since 2015. The largest public funding corresponds to public administrations regional with 92.3% (75,312 million euros) and direct payments from households represent the largest private health financing, specifically, with 73.2%.

Primary Care attended 379 million consultations in 2020, 3% more than in 2019, and teleconsultations between professionals and patients increased by 600% due to confinement

These direct expenses (24,794 million euros) were used mainly for the purchase and co-payment of medicines, dental care and the purchase of therapeutic devices and other medical products such as glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids.

primary care

The exceptional demand derived from the SARS-CoV2 pandemic during 2020 caused that, in the analyzed period, 2.3 million people were treated for covid in Primary Care and 5.3 million contacts were followed up. 40% of the diagnostic tests took place there. In addition, 4 million temporary disability processes related to the coronavirus were managed.

Primary Care also stands out for its role in covid vaccination, especially in the most vulnerable groups. The document explains that 379 million queries were attended in 2020, which represented an increase in activity of 12.3 million compared to 2019 (+3%).

Teleconsultations between professionals and patients (127 million) increased by 600% compared to the previous year due to confinement, and home activity (13.5 million visits), by 4%. Also noteworthy is the increase in influenza vaccination activity (+48%) and pneumococcal (+21%).

The morbidity attended shows a decrease in almost all the usual diagnoses, with a significant decrease in respiratory diseases not related to covid.

With regard to specialized care, the covid has caused the hospitalization of 232,420 people in 2020, which have generated 245,215 admissions in the network of acute hospitals of the SNS (6% have required more than one admission) and 10% has required critical care. The average stay has been 11 days, 9 in conventional hospitalization and 15 days in the ICUs.

The greatest deployment of critical care resources was achieved during the first wave, on April 9, 2020, with more than 13,000 ICU beds enabled, a number 2.8 times greater than the number in operation prior to the pandemic; in some autonomous communities it quadrupled and even quintupled its previous endowment.

In 2020, the SNS has attended a total of 3,181,725 ​​hospitalizations, 573,831 less than the previous year (-15%). As a result of the pandemic, diagnoses associated with diseases of the respiratory system have increased, highlighting the significant rise in pneumonia.

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