Balcells announces one billion more in the health budget

The ‘conseller’ of Health, Manel Balcells, announced this Thursday that Salut will have at its disposal billion more in the next budgets compared to 2022 (€11,244 million was budgeted then). It has done so in the Health Commission of the Parliament of Catalonia, at a time of uncertainty as to whether the ERC government will have support to approve next year’s budget. Balcells has acknowledged that the Catalan health system is “under-diagnosed” for years.

He has also asked that the covid funds received from the State in 2020 and 2021. be “consolidated”. “It would allow us to consolidate the increase in staff, maintain the level of care that we have so far,” said the ‘conseller’. However, he has made it clear that these additional billion euros will be available if the budgets of the Generalitat of 2023: “That it be approved and that we have instruments Depends more on you than on me.” he told opposition deputies.

In his first intervention as ‘conseller’ in the health commission, Balcells has made a review of the current situation of the health care system of Catalonia, whose professionals are considering going on strike because of the overload of care and “mistreatment” by the system.

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Balcells has explained that the system is in an “moment of change.” due to the exit of the pandemic. He acknowledged the social inequalities in Catalonia that directly affect people’s health. He also showed his concern for the upcoming retirement of doctors and nurses for whom there are no substitutes. And it has recognized the “physical discomfort, mental discomfort and stress.” that healthcare workers are suffering, although he said that the workforce has been increased, as he assured that the integrated healthcare system for public use, the SISCAT, has increased the workforce between 2019 and 2022 by 16,435 healthcare professionals. According to him, the objective is to “consolidate” these staffs with more funds, despite the problems of “underfunding” of the healthcare system.

Waiting lists

With regard to waiting lists, it has committed to. “address” the problem and that all the procedures of guaranteed care (the right to be operated on within a maximum period of time) are “on schedule” next year. “Activity has increased; the wait for heart or cancer surgery is the same as before the pandemic, but on the other hand, this does not happen in some processes that are under a guaranteed maximum time, and the commitment of this councilor is that all procedures will be on time next year,” he said.

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In primary education, he also acknowledged that they are “unsustainable” access records to a face-to-face consultation: the appointment in 48 hours is only achieved in 35% of the cases, in 5 days in 52% and in 10 days, in 72%. The ‘conseller’ has recognized the difficulties that plague the system, but the opposition groups have criticized him for the absence of concrete measures proposed to reverse it.

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