Illa is committed to a future model that ensures more prevention, more public health and a National Health System that is closer to people

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, is committed to a future model that ensures more prevention, more public health and a National Health System (SNS) that is closer to people. Illa has insisted, in his speech at the Senate Health Committee, that "we need a system that produces health instead of health and that prevents disease and not only cures it. If it was already a vision for the future for the Ministry of Health, after the pandemic it is more necessary than ever to shore up this direction. " And he added: "We have to be able to take advantage of this moment to update the National Health System and promote change towards a more robust, flexible and resilient model."

Lla has highlighted the joint effort carried out with the autonomous communities that "has allowed us to deepen mutual knowledge, trust, shared responsibility and I would even dare to say empathy between both administrations." In this sense, it has expressed its commitment to reinforce the role of the Inter-territorial Council of the National Health System and has indicated its willingness to have "a system strongly cohesive in the services it provides to citizens, but also in the way of working, with a network communication, agile and shared. "

Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19

The Minister of Health has announced that the Government will shortly approve a Preparation and Response Plan for COVID-19 that "will incorporate, among other aspects, a strategic reserve and national production of critical materials; contingency plans to reactivate, quickly, the health resources withdrawn, and a guide with epidemiological criteria for the control of spikes, outbreaks and a possible second wave. "

One of the measures that is already underway is the increase in the influenza vaccination campaign so that the two diseases, as far as possible, do not coincide at the same time, which would put more strain on the system. For this reason, Illa has announced that "the Ministry of Health is making an extraordinary purchase of this vaccine, complementary to those made by the autonomous communities, to reinforce vaccination with 5 million extra doses, especially in health professionals, the elderly and people with risky conditions. "

Big challenges

The minister referred to the great challenges to be faced as priority lines of action for his department to carry out the updating of the SNS: keeping people at the center of the system, caring for those who care for us, promoting digitization and R + D + I and strengthen public health.

Regarding the first commitment, Salvador Illa has highlighted two areas: Primary Care and Public Health. In Primary Care, she has underlined the need to enhance this level of care with technological and organizational innovation to provide it with greater resolution capacity as well as the reinforcement of professional roles such as Nursing, all within the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Primary and Community Care.

In Public Health, he insisted that it is necessary to develop the General Law of Public Health creating the State Center for Public Health and promoting other lines such as "health promotion and disease prevention, training in health of people to become in active subjects and promote their autonomy and self-care, the participation of patients and citizens in the decisions of their individual health and of the health system itself both individually and through patient associations, or the transversal inclusion of equity and equality in health. "

In addition, the minister has affirmed that the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the need to protect unpopulated areas. For this reason, "we are going to work together with the autonomous communities in the development of a model of rural health care, based on Primary and Community Care, and which includes home care, rural pharmacy and the incorporation of new technologies".

Healthy lifestyles

In the field of prevention, the Health Minister explained that another of the priorities is to promote healthy life options. In this sense, "a Comprehensive Plan for the Reduction of Tobacco Smoking will be drawn up that will address compliance with current legislation and also its modification to expand smoke-free spaces; matching the regulation of new forms of smoking to that of tobacco; the analysis of neutral packaging or the expansion of tobacco taxation, as I already announced in my appearance of general lines in Congress ".

Also, he underlined, "we are going to develop a Plan against childhood obesity that will include measures to promote physical activity and healthy eating for children and adolescents; actions to protect minors from advertising unhealthy foods; and analysis for a healthy tax policy that discourages the consumption of foods that are harmful to health, such as processed foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt. "

Another challenge, in this sense, is to complete the National Health and Environment Plan as a tool to combat environmental health risks.

Professional career, ESF and endowment of resources

The minister has expressed, again, the appreciation towards health professionals and explained that he will work together with the CCAA, professional associations, scientific societies and union organizations in various fields. Thus, "the number of Specialized Health Training places in specialties will continue to increase in collaboration with the autonomous communities and, at the same time, we will advance in updating the content; all through a new regulation of the professions and specialization in Health Sciences ".

In addition, he indicated, "although human resources policies are the responsibility of the autonomous communities, we want to work to improve planning in the area of ​​SNS personnel and we will analyze, with the autonomous communities, how to improve the professional situation of professionals" .

To retain this talent "we are going to work on the recognition of the research career in Health Sciences, through a stable Forum of work and communication with the autonomous communities". And he added "our objective is to protect the career of researchers so that they can work and develop all their professional skills on equal terms with those who provide assistance."

Digital transformation and Innovation

Facing the digital transformation that Salvador Illa has also defended in his speech, and as he already announced in Congress, "our intention is to prepare a White Paper on digital transformation of the National Health System, which establishes the main lines to advance in this scope, which we will do with the participation of the autonomous communities, experts and with the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, and of Science and Innovation. "

Another area that should be promoted is, in his opinion, Precision Medicine, in which he will work together with the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

And in this line, of evolution and momentum, he pointed out that "a SNS Pharmaceutical Policy Strategy will be promoted, counting on the autonomous communities and the agents involved, to improve the incorporation of new drugs, guaranteeing the sustainability of the system."

Measures to strengthen the SNS

Salvador Illa has also detailed a block of measures that are already being worked on in order to strengthen the National Health System. The first is the universality of health care: "Last week, work resumed so that soon we have a law that fully guarantees the right to health protection."

Another line of work that has already begun to be addressed is the elimination of the pharmaceutical copayment. "The beneficiaries of the Minimum Vital Income are already exempt and our objective is to continue with pensioners in a situation of greater vulnerability, those who have incomes of less than 11,200 euros per year and with people who receive the Social Security economic benefit per child or minor in charge, "said the minister. In total, more than 7.8 million people will benefit from this measure.

Other measures being implemented by the Ministry of Health are the progressive expansion of oral health care, within the SNS service portfolio; updating the National Strategy for Mental Health; the continuation of the development of the Plan to protect health against pseudotherapies and the proposal for a law that is already being processed in the Congress of Deputies on euthanasia.

Furthermore, "we continue to work on the National Plan for Antibiotic Resistance; the 'operationalization' of the National Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health; the strengthening of food security; the planning of universal coverage of rare diseases; the preparation of the law to protect minors from the effects of alcohol or the promotion of resources in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, "said Illa.

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