‘The Lancet’ criticizes the polarization and cuts in the Spanish management of the covid

'The Lancet' criticizes the polarization and cuts in the Spanish management of the covid

Carrying out a PCR in the Basque Country. (EFE)

Carrying out a PCR in the Basque Country. (EFE)

Spain, which was one of the countries most affected by the first wave of covid-19, is being hit again by the pandemic and, although the reasons are still “not fully understood”, this virus has “magnified” the weaknesses of the sanitary system and has revealed “the complexities of the politics that make up the country.” These are the main views of the editorial ‘Covid-19 in Spain: A predictable storm?‘, published this Saturday in la revista ‘The Lancet Public Health’. The article recalls that on October 12, Spain had 861,112 confirmed cases, 32,929 deaths and more than 63,000 infected toilets. The first wave put the resistance of the health system to the test but, despite the creation in 2004 of a Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, the pandemic exposed problems such as a weak surveillance system throughout the country, low capacity to perform PCR, and lack of equipment for health personnel and equipment in intensive care, as pointed out by one letter signed by 20 Spanish scientists and submitted to the magazine in August.

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The letter also mentioned the lack of coordination and slow decision-making on the part of the central and regional authorities, the high levels of mobility of the population, the scarce scientific advice, the aging of the population, the health and social inequalities, and the lack of preparation in nursing homes, recalls this Saturday’s editorial.And is that due to the cuts imposed after the financial crisis of 2008, The four pillars of the Spanish health system – governance, financing, service provision and the workforce – were already “fragile” when they were overwhelmed by the pandemic in March, the editorial in the scientific journal maintains.

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David Brunat Spain has one of the most precarious public health structures in Europe. Politicians are bothered and doctors are not interested. We don’t even have a state agency

That decade of austerity “It reduced health personnel and the capacities of public health and the health system, so that the health services do not have the necessary personnel or resources. With 5.9 nurses per 1000 inhabitants, Spain has one of the lower proportions in the EU (the average is 9.3 per 1000), and all too often with temporary contracts that can last only a few days or weeks, “warns the magazine.

Along with all this, ‘The Lancet’ apunta to the “political polarization and decentralized management of Spain” that also “could have hampered“a rapid and effective health response by public health. However, the magazine concludes by saying that” there is reason for hope “and recalls that according to the latest world health report from ‘The Lancet’ – released this week—, Spain is one of the countries with the greatest hope of healthy western lifeSo “if Spain’s political leaders can draw lessons from its suboptimal response to COVID, the country is very well placed to give its population a bright and healthy future.”


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