Spaniards more concerned about healthcare, unemployment and the economy than the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has reignited the debate on the current state of the Spanish healthcare system. The Spanish Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS), in its barometer published this month, raised the question of whether reforms in the Spanish healthcare system following the corona pandemic are ‘advisable’.
To this question, a large majority of those questioned by the CIS answered ‘yes’. 83% believe reforms to the national health system are desirable. Only 10% of respondents believe the Spanish health system is ‘healthy’ and does not need reform.
Confirmation of results last quarter 2020
These results are not surprising, as the CIS already investigated this topic in the October, November and December 2020 barometers with almost similar results; albeit with slightly higher percentages. Back then, 86%, 88% and 84% of respondents respectively said yes to possible and necessary healthcare reforms.
Less concerned about Covid-19
Despite widespread concern about the health system and the desire of the majority of Spaniards to reform it, overall concern about the handling of the pandemic has subsided since it began.
In April 2020, when the CIS first asked respondents about their concerns about fighting the virus, almost half of Spaniards said they were particularly concerned about the measures in Spain to combat this threat. Spain introduced a strict lockdown, and the population was confined in ‘harsh conditions’.
But with the advance of vaccination, the pandemic tops the list of concerns for only 25% of Spaniards. Now, aspects such as unemployment and the economic crisis take centre stage. Yet, since the start of the pandemic, concerns about healthcare have remained relatively stable. 20% of those surveyed consider healthcare to be the country’s biggest problem.
More money, more staff and more coordination
In last September’s CIS, more than 95% of Spaniards answered in the affirmative when asked whether they consider it necessary to invest more in healthcare. The same goes for increasing the number of staff (94.9%) and coordination between the autonomous communities (91.9%). When asked about the need to invest more in resources to prevent and combat pandemics, 86.4% replied in the affirmative, with only 44% believing it to be urgent. The most urgent action, according to those surveyed, is to increase the number of health workers and to invest more in the health sector.
In March this year, the CIS asked about the perception of the amount of resources allocated to different areas of public investment, such as pensions, social services, housing and health. Regarding healthcare, 75% of respondents believe that ‘too little’ funding is allocated; 20% believe that ‘just enough’ is allocated.
Health care at the top
Health care is in first place, followed by pensions. 61.8% of respondents answered that not enough money is allocated to pension benefits.
On the other hand, half of Spaniards feel the state invests too little in public safety and call the budget for this ‘reasonable’.