Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A healthy correction, but insufficient

A healthy correction, but insufficient
We still have to know the specification of the minister's proposal, beyond the leaks. For now, what we do know is that its aim is not to return the health card to all people living in Spanish territory to which they had been withdrawn, but "grant" a separate document, as if to make a difference between the needs of health and rights of some people and another in terms of their administrative status. It is a "record" or providing a separate document to the health card as proposed by the minister, from Doctors of the World we have to create a system of "special" and limited the public health system access - "to poor," "to immigrants "or" for excluded "- is discriminatory and unnecessary.

If something has achieved this standard during its three years of existence, it has been to generate confusion and suffering. We have presented specific cases, testimonials, hundreds of them. Women who have given birth without medical monitoring of their pregnancy, transplant patients who have lived with anguish the difficulties in achieving essential for life and cancer patients who have been advancing disease in your body to undergo treatment without medication.

In addition, the call healthcare reform at a stroke altered the foundations of the Spanish health system, to implement the concept of insured as a prerequisite for healthcare, forgetting that the right to health is inherent in every human being, regardless of their administrative status . The government also forgot that the Spanish health system is financed largely through indirect taxes such as VAT and excise duties on alcohol or fuel, I paid all the people who live and bought in Spain (including those pending to regularize their legal situation).

Especially bleeding is the government's insistence on linking health care to immigrants without resources who come from low-income countries with so-called "health tourism". A concept that refers to European citizens, who use the Spanish health system for its quality and because they have second homes in our country. In this case, the State's obligation is to manage with the countries of origin of these people caused the return of spending, something that the executive is not adequately dealing, according to the Court of Auditors.

Especially bleeding is the government's insistence on linking health care to immigrants without resources who come from low-income countries with so-called "health tourism". Coupled with this, in MDM we have endeavored to refute and again the falsity of the alleged "pull factor" of universal health coverage, since studies indicate that less than 3% of those who migrate do looking be cared for health problems.

And if saving money talk, we remember that the limitation to emergency care to people in an irregular situation imposed by the Government in 2012 is not only ethically unjustifiable, but also inefficient, since they consume more health resources and gets worse results in terms of health. It is shown that access to primary care reduces morbidity and, for certain diseases, the prevention and early diagnosis are more efficient and involve lower cost than subsequent treatments. In other words, providing only emergency services for immigrants without residence permits is more expensive long-term primary care. We have been saying since 2012, and we want to remember now that the Ministry seems to have changed its disposal.

Many social organizations and associations of health professionals have repeatedly called for the modification of this standard unacceptable from the point of view of justice, ethics and public health. We welcome therefore the change of direction of government; just we hope it's finally in the right direction. For MDM, the only way is the return of health care to immigrants as part of the right to health and a return to a system of universal public health coverage.


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