The Regional Ministry of Health will have a budget of 2,354.4 million euros in 2024, which represents an increase of 5.1% compared to 2023. This was explained by the councillor Manuela García in a parliamentary appearance, where she explained in detail the details of what will be the highest budget since the transfer of powers from the central government to the autonomous communities in 2002, as one in every three euros is allocated to health. “This budget not only protects the health budget but increases it,” she said.
Councillor García stressed that “these are the highest and most social budgets in history”, budgets that make it possible to address the main objective of this Regional Ministry of Health: “to build and develop a universal, quality health system, with the user and the professionals at its heart” and which respond to the main challenges for the future of health.
García stressed that these are the budgets that allow the citizens of the Balearic Islands to have a Directorate General for Mental Health, with a budget of 5.2 million euros; they are those that will allow the reactivation of the professional career frozen since 2018, and those that will make it possible to increase the number of health professionals and their loyalty thanks to the positions that are difficult and very difficult to fill, or the Professional Care Programme.
For 2024, the Regional Ministry of Health will allocate the largest item in its budget to the Health Service, which will have 2,275 million euros for this year, an increase of more than 82 million euros and 3.7%.
In addition, the councillor García pointed out that to this amount must be added the increase in salaries as of 1 January for all public workers in the CAIB and the reactivation of the professional career – frozen since 2018.
The chapter on personnel expenses grew by 4.3% to reach 1,067 million euros. Almost one out of every two euros of the budget goes to pay the salaries of the nearly twenty thousand professionals who work in the Health Service. García reiterated that the Conselleria’s best and greatest asset is its professionals.
This means an increase of 43.5 million euros, which will be used to a large extent for loyalty and recruitment programmes for healthcare professionals, as well as for the consolidation and stabilisation of interim staff into permanent statutory staff through the stabilisation processes for more than seventy healthcare and non-healthcare categories, which will end on 31 December 2024.
One of the main objectives of the Health Service’s budget for 2024 is a firm and decisive commitment to primary care, which will grow by 52.1 million euros, reaching 620.8 million euros, an increase of 9% over last year’s budget.
Another major challenge for 2024 will be tackling waiting lists. With the intention of drastically reducing them, the budget contemplates an investment of approximately 22 million euros, distributed in various chapters.
The budget for the Ibiza Health Area will be 172.7 million euros, an increase of 7.2% (11.6 million euros). This investment will have an important part dedicated to the recruitment of new professionals through the areas of very difficult coverage, and also to the increase of MIR training places. Next year Can Misses will have a Paediatric Teaching Unit.
The budget for the Menorca Health Area reaches 118.9 million euros in 2024, a 1.5% budget increase and in absolute figures, 1.7 million euros more.
As for the Investment Plan, a total of 134.2 million euros will be allocated to the various projects planned to strengthen the public health network, which will represent a major economic effort for this government, which in parallel will build infrastructures of the importance of Son Dureta, Verge del Toro Hospital and Manacor Hospital.
In addition, in 2024 construction will begin on the new health centres of Pollença and Son Ferriol, and work is scheduled to be completed on the Nuredduna Health Centre (Artà) and the basic units of Montuïri, Sant Joan and Santa Margalida. At the same time, the Ciutadella City Council has already been asked to cede a plot of land for the construction of the new Canal Salat health centre, and work has also begun on the new centre in Formentera.
The budget also includes an item of 3.2 million euros for the reform of the old Ambulatorio del Carme as the new headquarters of the Corporate Services of the Health Service.
General Directorate of Mental Health
The first Directorate General of Mental Health of this Government will have a budget of 5.2 million euros. Of this, €1.4 million will be earmarked for the implementation of programmes such as care coordination, care for children and young people, mental health programmes for health professionals, and the strengthening of facilities that care for people with serious mental disorders.
Promoting the approach to mental health based on humanisation, human rights and the eradication of stigma for mental health reasons will be another of the major objectives of this directorate general, together with suicide prevention, postvention and action on unwanted loneliness.
An allocation of €225,500 has been earmarked for updating and improving the infrastructure and equipment of the addictive behaviour units (UCA). In addition, 2.5 million euros will be allocated to actions for prevention, care and social integration of people with addictions. The drafting of the Integral Addictions Plan 2025-2028 and the Responsible Alcohol Dispensing Strategy will be some of the actions promoted by the Balearic Islands Platform for Quality Leisure.
Directorate General of Public Health
The budget allocation of the Directorate General of Public Health and the Public Health Agency of the Balearic Islands for 2024 amounts to 27.6 M, with an overall increase with respect to 2023 of 2.5%. This increase is mainly due to the introduction of immunisation against respiratory syncytial virus (nirsevimab) and meningitis B.
On the other hand, the Balearic Islands Cancer Strategy will be implemented in 2024, which will initiate the new cervical cancer screening programme and boost breast and colon cancer screening, with the aim of achieving greater screening coverage.
Public Health will promote epidemiological surveillance of communicable and non-communicable diseases, notifiable diseases and the HIV/AIDS register, and will start monitoring workers exposed to asbestos, the voluntary interruption of pregnancy and the register of rare diseases.
Public Health has also increased the allocation of the island centres of Menorca and Eivissa and Formentera by almost 19%, including the accreditation of the analytical unit of Eivissa.
Directorate-General for Health Research Training and Accreditation
The budget of the Directorate General for Health Research, Training and Accreditation has increased by 7.1%, reaching 4.6 M euros. This year, 2024, the clinical trials units at Son Llàtzer and Son Espases will be created, and the activities coordinated by the Health Research Service, such as the Balearic Islands Committee on the Ethics of Research with Medicines (CEIm) and the Virtual Health Sciences Library of the Balearic Islands, will be continued.
In 2024, the new speciality of Emergency Medicine will be created and the necessary steps will be taken to accredit the teaching units.
With regard to the Office of Advance Directives, work will be done to reduce the waiting list in our Community. Likewise, the Directorate General will continue to provide funding to maintain the IdISBa structure, with the commitment to progressively increase it during the legislature.
Directorate General for Consumer Affairs, Pharmacy and Benefits
The budget of this DG is 5.1 million euros, which will enable the development of health strategies in the face of the main challenges posed by the growing number of chronic illnesses and the new demands in the provision of public health services.
This directorate general will update the regulations governing pharmaceutical planning with a new Pharmaceutical Planning Law.
With regard to Consumer Affairs, work will be done to improve the SICONSUM programme, as well as consumer protection and defence. Along these lines, a new law for the protection of consumers and users in the Balearic Islands will be presented to Parliament.
The Blood and Tissue Bank Foundation will have a budget of 12.8 million euros. Its objectives for 2024 are to modernise the institution in the IT field, to have the Electronic Headquarters tool, to lay the foundations for the creation of the Plasma Unit and to complete the Contingency Plan.
The Secretariat-General’s main project is the complete renovation of the Cecili Metel building, with a budget of 13.4 million euro.
As for its financing, it will be done entirely with finalist funds, specifically with the insularity factor. The City Council has already approved the licence and the tender is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2024.
The councillor for Health emphasised during the appearance that these budgets – the highest and most social in the history of the Balearic Islands – are a response to the major deficiencies encountered, such as the deficit and lack of motivation of professionals, the unacceptable situation of waiting lists and the fact of having to tackle the construction of large-scale health infrastructures in parallel.