Health in the Balearic Islands will have more than 2.2 billion euros to strengthen primary care and improve infrastructure and conditions for professionals

Nov 10, 2022 | Current affairs, Featured, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

It is also planned to draw up the functional plan and the architectural project to implement the haemodynamics service in Menorca.
Health will have more than 2.2 billion euros to strengthen primary care and improve infrastructure and conditions for professionals.
Next year the budget for vaccines will be increased by 3.4 million euros and vaccination against the human papilloma virus will be extended to children
The Regional Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs will have a budget of 2. 2.241 million euros in 2023, around 10% more than in 2022, explained the councillor Patricia Gómez in a parliamentary appearance, during which she reviewed the most important actions that will be carried out next year related to infrastructure, human resources, and health services, among which she highlighted the strengthening of primary care, the start of the procedure for the creation of the haemodynamics service in Menorca, the 2.5% increase in the salary of professionals and the return to the 35-hour working day.

The councillor indicated that the most important part of the budget is earmarked for the Balearic Islands Health Service, a Directorate General that will have a budget of 2,193 million euros, or 220.6 million euros more than this year’s amount (an increase of 11.2%). In line with the Government’s commitment to improving the resources and capacity to resolve problems in primary care, the budget for this area has been increased by 73.8 million euros to 568.6 million euros.

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As for infrastructures, the investment chapter is one of the fastest growing, increasing by 60.7% and rising from 84.8 million in 2022 to 136.3 million in 2023. This item will make it possible to continue developing the Health Service’s infrastructure plan, which foresees investments in all the islands, including Son Dureta and the Bons Aires Health Park in Mallorca; the Verge del Toro in Menorca; the modernisation of Can Misses in Ibiza and the 061 base in Formentera, in addition to multiple construction and refurbishment projects for health centres and basic units.

With regard to human resources, next year’s budget for the Health Service increases by 72 million, bringing it to 1,023.6 million, and includes such important aspects as the 2.5% increase in the salaries of all professionals and the return to the 35-hour working week thanks to an investment of 14 million. In addition, next year the competition and competitive examination processes for the stabilisation of 4,115 posts in 85 categories will be carried out. On the other hand, the Health Service is currently working, within the framework of the Sectorial Table, to continue introducing other improvements that will help to attract and retain professionals.

The Health Service will also continue its commitment to improving equity in access to services and, among other things, plans to draw up the functional plan and the architectural project to implement the haemodynamics service in Menorca; it will also increase from 1 to 2 the number of companions for children who have to travel to another island or to the mainland to be treated in a hospital, and will continue to work to incorporate innovative therapies that provide an opportunity for patients.

Public Health Agency and new vaccines

The year 2023 will see the launch of the Public Health Agency, which will have a budget of 29.3 million euros. This represents an increase of EUR 4.5 million compared to the Directorate General’s budget for 2022 (an increase of 18%). This first proper budget of the Agency should allow for the development of the Public Health Surveillance Strategy agreed upon in Zaragoza between the Ministry and the communities, which will be financed with its own budget and from the European Funds, and will incorporate the surveillance of non-communicable diseases into the public health surveillance systems in order to face the new challenges of the 21st century (cancer, obesity, etc.).

Another important milestone in next year’s Public Health budget is the 35% increase in the budget for vaccines, from 9.5 million in 2022 to 12.9 million euros. The 3.4 million increase will allow for the introduction of the shingles vaccine to protect the entire population over 65 years of age.

Two more vaccines that will be incorporated into the vaccination schedule during the year 2023 are the human papillomavirus vaccine for boys (until now it was only applied to girls) and vaccination against influenza for all children between 6 months and 5 years (until now only the at-risk population was vaccinated). These two vaccines increase the protection of children and young people in the Balearic Islands against these diseases and comply with the common vaccination schedule.

More support for research

The Directorate General for Health Research, Training and Accreditation will have a budget of 4.2 million euros, an increase of 19.8% compared to 2022.

In 2023, the Regional Ministry’s contribution to the structural maintenance of the Illes Balears Institute for Health Research (IdISBa) will increase to 1.7 million euros, which is 9% higher than in 2022. This maintains IdISBa’s support for its consolidation as a benchmark for biomedical research in the Balearic Islands and positions it among the leading institutions at national and international level, by promoting research excellence, fostering a culture of innovation and increasing the critical mass of researchers.

It should be noted that IdISBa will also receive 2.1 million euros from the sustainable tourism tax.

The budget will also make it possible to implement the new Biomedical Research and Innovation Strategy of the Balearic Islands 2023-2027, whose mission is to articulate the actions necessary to promote the development of research and innovation in health in the Balearic Islands. Within this framework, and as a pilot experience, a call is proposed for 2023 to fund an experimental number of transformative and impactful projects in research and innovation in health, which will increase scientific excellence in several strategic areas of biomedicine and/or biotechnology, promote translational research and support public and private collaboration in the field of biomedical research and innovation. There will also be a new call for research personnel to join the Balearic Islands’ health R&D&I system.

The Directorate General for Services and Pharmacy will have a budget of more than 2.8 million euros. Priority lines include continuing the implementation, monitoring, evaluation and updating of the Balearic Islands’ health strategies, supporting the Commission for the Guarantee and Evaluation of the Balearic Islands’ Aid in Dying Benefit, developing and consolidating telematic procedures related to administrative procedures, and reinforcing the pharmacovigilance system.

Boosting the digital administration of Consumer Affairs

The Directorate General for Consumer Affairs will increase its budget by 9.1% and will have more than 2.8 million euros. The increase in the Consumer Affairs budget is necessary in order to achieve effective protection of the rights of consumers and users, who are increasingly demanding the intervention of the Administration in consumer disputes, either through mediation by the Directorate General or through arbitration by the Consumer Arbitration Board.

The main lines of action of the Directorate General are the completion of electronic consumer administration, the telematic presentation of complaints and requests for arbitration, and the processing and resolution of these procedures, also telematically. In this sense, 185,000 euros will be allocated to the maintenance of the SICONSUM computer programme, through which all the activity of the Directorate General is managed, from complaints to inspection reports or arbitration activity.

Likewise, within the educational programmes on healthy habits, responsible, sustainable and safe consumption, the continuity of the Consumópolis school programme stands out. It should also be noted that the budget item of €35,000 is maintained for subsidies to entities that carry out informative, training and advisory activities for consumers.

Finally, the Department’s General Secretariat will have funds available for the purchase of electric vehicles for inspectors and charging points, as well as for refurbishing the Ibiza Island Centre and the Manacor Regional Centre.