Spain will finance glasses and contact lenses from 2025

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glasses and contact lenses

The Ministry of Health in Spain will start financing glasses and contact lenses from 2025. There will also be a new law on Public Healthcare with the aim of limiting privatisation in healthcare and keeping essential care available to everyone, regardless of socio-economic status.

This was announced by Health Minister Mónica García during the ‘I Foro de Salud Pública. Una Sanidad a Futuro’, organised by the Fundación para la Investigación en Salud (Fuinsa). The measure is intended to improve the visual health of vulnerable groups and is used for minors from vulnerable families with low incomes. García emphasised that there is a broad social and political consensus on the need for this measure. “It cannot be that the system of visual or dental health is not included in the National Health System. We will work hard to achieve this by 2025,” said García.

Continuation of previous policy

García’s predecessor, Carolina Darias, had also proposed this measure during the previous legislature, but was ultimately unable to implement it. The current government agreement provides assistance for glasses and contact lenses for minors from low-income families.

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70% of the population depends on glasses or contact lenses

According to the Libro Blanco de la Visión, in 2023 approximately 70% of the Spanish population was dependent on glasses or contact lenses. That amounts to approximately 30 million people with visual problems. However, the new measure will only target lower-income families, which will significantly reduce the number of beneficiaries. García stated: “We want glasses and contact lenses to not be a disruptive expense for families who cannot afford them, allowing the most vulnerable people to achieve better visual health.”

New law on public health care

At the same time, the Spanish government has opened the public consultation period for the new Law on Public Healthcare and Integrity of the National Health System. The goal is to end private companies’ profits from public health care. The ministry also wants to prevent practices that lead to “obscene profits” at the expense of the public health budget.

Limitation of privatisation

Minister García emphasised that the new law should prevent private companies from acquiring a significant market position in public healthcare. That would lead to a loss of control for public authorities. “Scientific evidence has shown that private management has not brought improvements in public health. Private management mainly leads to obscene profits for a few companies at the expense of our National Health System,” said García. The Ministry of Health wants to take steps towards a fairer and more accessible healthcare system. Essential care must be available to everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status.

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