Spain - health system review
AbstractThis analysis of the Spanish health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. Overall health status continues to improve in Spain, and life expectancy is the highest in the European Union. Inequalities in self-reported health have also declined in the last decade, although long-standing disability and chronic conditions are increasing due to an ageing population. The macroeconomic context in the last decade in the country has been characterized by the global economic recession, which resulted in the implementation of health system-specific measures addressed to maintain the sustainability of the system. New legislation was issued to regulate coverage conditions, the benefits package and the participation of patients in the National Health System funding. Despite the budget constraints linked to the economic downturn, the health system remains almost universal, covering 99.1% of the population. Public expenditure in health prevails, with public sources accounting for over 71.1% of total health financing. General taxes are the main source of public funds, with regions (known as Autonomous Communities) managing most of those public health resources. Private spending, mainly related to out-of-pocket payments, has increased over time, and it is now above the EU average. Health care provision continues to be characterized by the strength of primary care, which is the core element of the health system; however, the increasing financing gap as compared with secondary care may challenge primary care in the long-term. Public health efforts over the last decade have focused on increasing health system coordination and providing guidance on addressing chronic conditions and lifestyle factors such as obesity. The underlying principles and goals of the national health system continue to focus on universality, free access, equity and fairness of financing. The evolution of performance measures over the last decade shows the resilience of the health system in the aftermath of the economic crisis, although some structural reforms may be required to improve chronic care management and the reallocation of resources to high-value interventions.
Bernal-Delgado, E; García-Armesto, S; Oliva, J; Martínez, F; Repullo, J; Peña-Longobardo, L; Ridao-López, M and Hernández-Quevedo, C, World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe & European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. (2018). Spain - health system review. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/330195
Health Systems in Transition; vol. 20, n. 2
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World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe; European Observatory on Health Care Systems (Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2000)
Health systems in transition : Spain : health system review / written by Antonio Duran, Juan L. Lara and Michelle van Waveren ; edited by Vaida Bankauskaite Durán, Antonio; Lara, Juan L; Waveren, Michelle van; Bankauskaite, Vaida; World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe; European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2006)
García-Armesto, S; Abadía-Taira, M; Durán, A; Hernández-Quevedo, C; Bernal-Delgado, E; European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe, 2010)The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. HiTs examine different approaches ...