operating within Spain’s private health insurance system welcomed an estimated
one million new members between 2013 and 2019. According to the
English-language online edition of ‘El Pais’, this is the result of
underfunding of the Spanish public healthcare system. In particular, the dramatically
long waiting lists in the public system are driving younger, ‘insurable’ people
to Spanish private health insurance funds.
to research carried out by ‘El Pais’, there were around 584,000 people on a
waiting list for surgery in a public hospital at the end of June 2018, with an
average waiting period of 93 days.
on the field of medicine, the extent of the procedure and the degree of being
able to plan, people living in the Basque country, with an average of 8.02
people on a waitlist per 100,000 inhabitants, are significantly better off than
their compatriots in Catalonia where 21.44 per 100,000 patients are on a
waiting list. Coming off worst are patients in the Canary Islands with an
average of 147 days waiting for treatment, Castilla-La Mancha (137 days) and
Catalonia (132 days).
in the private health insurance sector are trying to play down the widening gap
between the underfunded public system and the strictly selective private system.
According to El Pais, despite the persistent efforts of remaining staff, the visible
deterioration of infrastructure in the public sector is at odds with the picture
put forward that private health insurance in Spain is just a ‘small value-added’
to a supposedly high-performance system. As early as 2017, 11.5 million
Spaniards – if they could afford it and passed the risk assessment – had private
health insurance. They continue to pay their taxes to finance the regulatory