Published on International Association of Health Policy (http://www.healthp.org)

London 2001 Conference Abstracts: M. Bayle et al (2)

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Created 06/26/2007 - 13:20
Marciano S. Bayle, Carlos Ponte, Manuel Martin, Hixinio Beiras and Felix Payo

Social Movements against the privatization policy of the National Health Service in Spain

Federacion de Asociaciones para la Defensa de la Salud Publica, Spain [1]

During the last years several social movements of general people have been produced, inside and outside of the health area, against the initiatives of the Government addressed to the privatization of the public health services. The purpose of this communication is to describe and analyse one of the peculiar structural forms that they have been developed: "The Platforms in defence of the Public Health", which are playing an important role against the neoliberal measures and with the purpose of defending and improving the Public Health System.

1. What are the Platforms?.

The Platforms are considered as unitary organizations that arise in front of specific health or social problems, as the need of a new hospital or a particular sanitary or medical care service, the improper working of some health service, etc. And also in front of more general problems as governmental political decisions that affect to the whole population. Therefore, its working area is variable. It can be a neighbourhood, a city, a region or all the state.

Its composition is variable: worker unions (CCOO, UGT), or health workers by themselves (SATSE, SAE), Political Parties on the left spectrum (PSOE, IU, Nationalist Parties), Neighbours and Costumer Associations, City hall representatives, Professional Organizations (FADSP, SEMFYC).

Currently, the following platforms are operating:

2. Activities of the Platforms:

Medtec (Vigo,1996) against the privatization of a service of hemodynamic and heart surgery.
Protests against a law that decrease the public financiation of drugs prescriptions (1998).
Against the hospitals conversion in Foundations (Trusts): Getáfe and Alcalá (1988), Arriondas (2000).
Claming for the construction of new hospitals: Burgos (1999), Oviedo (2001), Pontevedra (2001).

3. Balance of the Platforms:

The result has been globally positive. In the case of the Foundations, the movement was essential to stop the Government policy. Also they were successful in more specific problems, for example: the maintenance of an old hospital in Santiago and to reconvert in a social clinic...

The Platforms, however, they have some problems:

4. Current objectives of the Platforms:

At this time, in the FADSP , the following topics in the Platforms
are outlined

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