The pandemic has put the public health system in check and the collateral damage of a year of health crisis is beginning to surface. At the virtual meeting Public health beyond covid , organized by EL PAÍS, CincoDías and Cadena SER, the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has admitted that it will be necessary to strengthen public health.
“It is up to the ministry that I have the honor to lead to follow the path of social progress, assuming a great historical task: to strengthen and expand the capacity of the National Health System,” said Darias. In the roundtable cycle, more than a dozen experts, among whom were Rafael Matesanz, creator of the World Transplant Organization, or María Neira, Director of Public Health of the World Health Organization, have analyzed the scope that the pandemic has had on the prevention and treatment of other diseases.
“The National Health System is being subjected to a very tough stress test as a result of the pandemic, a stress test to which it is responding in a reasonable way, but not without difficulties that have brought out its weaknesses,” Darias admitted during the inauguration of the virtual meeting.
The minister insisted that “two of the great lessons of this critical situation are the recognition of the value of the public and the need to strengthen it.” And it has marked some of the challenges faced by the health system in the short and medium term: “There are aspects that will be decisive, such as the reinforcement of primary care, the digitization of health, chronicity and the aging of the population. A model that ensures more prevention, more public health and that is closer to people.
It is about, in times of pandemic, to take care of the urgent to continue with the important ”. The minister has assured that, for this task, they will need an injection of resources and investments in the health system.
Darias stressed that, among the measures that Health has implemented to tackle the consequences of a year of pandemic and strengthen the public health system, the new update of the Strategy against Cancer is already being studied by the Interterritorial Health Council , which had not been reviewed for a decade. The ministry is also preparing, in fact, a specific strategy to improve care for patients with pandemic cancer.
According to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology, during the first wave, new cancer diagnoses fell 21% compared to the same period of the previous year. “Cancer is a priority and has become secondary.
There are estimates and it is estimated that the loss of opportunity will translate into a loss of survival of 30% in patients who have been diagnosed late, ”said Eduardo Díaz-Rubio, emeritus professor of Oncology and president of the Royal National Academy of Medicine from Spain, during their participation in the virtual event.
Spain comes out of the extreme risk situation due to coronavirus and places its incidence at 235 cases per 100,000
But not only in tumors is the impact of a year of health crisis noticeable. Begoña Ortiz, a nurse at the La Paz University Hospital in Madrid, has warned of the impact also on rare diseases, both inside and outside the hospital. “Patients with rare diseases were very compromised by the care of patients with covid.
Hospitals were completely occupied by this pathology and we had to call our patients and tell them not to come for consultations. After the first two or three months, some of the consultations for rare diseases were opening, but many of my internist colleagues were busy treating patients with covid and we could not do it with our patients. There must have been a delay in the diagnosis.