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Demand for Private Health Insurance Increases in Spain

A laparoscopy is carried out at a private hospital. Image: twitter

The demand for private health insurance remains high despite the end of the pandemic as public health deterioration persists

One in five Andalucians already has private health insurance. Last year (2021) the number of insured increased by 85,554, 5% more than in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

On November 26, 2022,  thousands of Andalucians took to the streets to stand up to the PP government regarding the public health situation. This mirrored not only the demonstrations in the Community of Madrid but was fueled above all by the conviction that things are not going as well in the matter as Juanma Moreno- the Resident of Andalucia has us to believe.

The excuse of the pandemic is beginning to fade away and there is a definite drift towards more and more privatisation.

More people seek private health insurance

This situation is leading to more and more people entrusting their health to a private company. In Andalucia there are 1,835,876 inhabitants with private health insurance, as of December 31, 2021 (the data for 2022 has not yet been released).

According to the latest census published by the National Statistics Institute (INE), there were 8,472,407 Andalucians in 2021, so one in five already has private health insurance.

It also means 85,554 more insured in private health than in 2020, an increase of almost 5%. According to data from the Spanish Union of Entities Insurers (Unespa), their members added almost 100,000 new private health clients in one year.

In the absence of knowing the figures for 2022, the volume of business has grown until September 2022 to a total of 7,915 million euros, which is 7.30% more than in 2021 (7,376), in this case with data collected by the Cooperative Investigation of Insurance Entities (ICEA). 

It does not break them down by autonomous community, but it does continue to place Andalucia in third position behind Madrid and Catalonia, which in each case have more than two and a half million inhabitants with contracted health insurance, despite having a smaller population than Andalucia.

Three-quarters of the premiums are distributed by five companies

According to the report ‘Private healthcare: adding value. Situation analysis 2021’, prepared by the Institute for the Development and Integration of Health (IDIS), practically three-quarters of the premiums are distributed by these five companies:

Adeslas, SanitasAsisa, DKV, and Mapfre.

The Secretary of Institutional and Communication of CCOO Andalucía, Nuria Martínez, does not believe that the budgets of the Junta de Andalucía for 2023 are going to correct the situation of public health in the region.

Martínez said that the health budget “does not reach 7.4% of GDP” as the PP government states. “It is a distortion of reality since it is inflated by privatisations, referrals to private healthcare, and uncontrolled pharmaceutical spending.”

Germán Girela, CSIF Andalucía, spoke of a “decrease in 16,000 health personnel” if the average workforce for the second quarter of 2022 of the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) is compared with that of 2022 and rejects the commitment to ” outsourcing” because they imply “a growing role of private healthcare to the detriment of the public”.

Read more about Andalucia: Andalucía on High Alert as New COVID Wave Feared Due to Chinese Variant

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