“We need more psychiatrists and psychologists to address disorders in minors.”

Let’s talk about mental health. There is a big increase in disorders in children, adolescents and young adults. Are there any specific plans to reinforce this? Strengthening mental health is a firm commitment of the Govern in general, as shown by the Pacte Nacional per la Salut Mental in which all departments are working. But it is also a specific commitment of Salut. We are very concerned about child and youth health, we are very concerned about suicide, and there are specific plans for this. But we understand that there is also a lot of emotional disorder, something that we are also addressing with the emotional wellbeing referents of the CAPs.

Why do mental disorders increase so much in the child and adolescent population? Experts tell us that the pandemic has taken its toll and that addiction to social networks is also taking its toll. In addition to treating these pathologies, we also work a lot on prevention, education and management of all these issues in schools, especially eating disorders (ED), which are highly prevalent in adolescent girls.

In fact there are public hospitals with waiting lists of up to three months How can this be alleviated? Urgent disorders must be seen immediately and, in this sense, the units must function. And on the other hand, we must increase resources so that care that is not strictly urgent does not have to wait so long. We must increase resources and that is what we will do.

In a few weeks, we will present a strategic plan for professionals, which will address the lack of psychologists

By resources, what do we mean, psychologists? Because there are no psychologists. There is a lack of psychiatrists, a lack of clinical psychologists… More than psychologists, clinical psychologists. In any case, we are considering strategies to find more clinical psychologists or to train psychologists to act as clinical psychologists if necessary.

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And the strategies for finding these clinical psychologists where do they go through? Clinical psychologists need a PIR, those who are not clinical psychologists must make a preparation and go with accompaniment of clinical psychologists. When we present the strategic plan for professionals, we will address this issue at greater length.

And when will you present it? In a few weeks.

What winter is in store for us with respect to covid? A complicated winter. Bronchiolitis, which is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and which affects young children a lot, has reached its peak; it is already starting to go down. But the forecasts tell us that around Christmas there will be the peak of the flu. And then, after a few days, that of covid-19, which will rise again. Because covid is here: at the moment we have more than 700 patients admitted for covid and 27 in the ICU. It seems, however, that we will have a less aggressive wave than that of the flu.

In other words, this year we are expecting more flu than covid. Exactly. And the flu is expected for Christmas, like other years.

But will it be as strong as the bronchiolitis epidemic? We are not fortune tellers, but everything suggests that there will be a major wave of flu. We recommend everyone to get vaccinated. [de gripe y de la cuarta dosis de covid]especially people at risk.

Will Salut stress the recommendation to wear a mask on public transport, a state regulation that no one respects? We insist on this recommendation and that people with symptoms of any respiratory condition wear a mask. Above all, people with risk factors should wear a mask.

When you served as president of the Consell Asessor de Salut, you were critical of the management of nursing homes in the first wave and said that the social and healthcare model needed to be rethought. What needs to be rethought? We are already rethinking it. Right now we are considering the implementation of the Agència Integrada de Atenció Salut i Social and we are considering various projects for the deployment of the agency that we will also announce in the near future.

What worries you most about healthcare? Many things. This care pressure from the professionals, the very care pressure that there is at this time, the social and health tension that we have pending to redo, having adequate funding to respond to all this…

How do you assess the management of your predecessor, Josep Maria Argimon? We work on everything that has been built before and all this is thanks to the work of my predecessor and all the previous ‘consellers’ and ‘conselleres’ of Salut. We have a health system that is under stress but that is very powerful, of high quality. It has shortcomings that we have to solve, but it is very solid. It is a great treasure that we have and we have to preserve, care for and improve it.

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