The first vice president of the Andalusian Association of Family and Community Nursing (Asanec), Eva Almán, has defended before the Economy, Finance and European Funds Commission of the Parliament of Andalusia, the need to permanently increase the number of nurses in the Andalusian Public Health System, given the evidence that “the insufficient provision of these professionals produces increases in patient mortality and morbidity, a greater number of readmissions and lengthening of stays.”

Almán, who has appeared in relation to the Budget Bill of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia for the year 2024, has stressed that in Andalusia the nursing rate in primary care teams is “quite deficient”; of 0.60 per 1,000 inhabitants, only ahead of the Region of Murcia, which has a rate of 0.58 per 1,000 inhabitants, the Balearic Islands, 0.56, and the Community of Madrid, which leads the negative ratio with 0.50 nurses. per 1,000 inhabitants.

According to the first vice president, it is not only necessary to increase investment in Health but “it is essential to improve and adapt health spending, adapting it to the real needs of the population and, as a key, there is an excessive effort in resources, both economic and personnel, which are allocated to Primary Care and an increase in health spending over the population’s GDP”.

For the person in charge of family and community nurses, “allocating a budgetary investment more in line with the health reality is key in a community like ours, which faces the challenge of responding, quickly and effectively, to the constant increase in chronic diseases”.

“Primary care continues to be the central element of the Spanish health system,” Almán insisted. “Family and community doctors and nurses provide acute and chronic treatments to the entire population; we also provide specific prevention and health promotion services aimed at children, women and the elderly.”

“We know that the aging of the population and the constant increase in chronic diseases represent a higher level of demand in Primary Care and, despite this growing pressure, public spending on hospitals represents an increasing percentage of the total amount allocated to Health, while the percentage allocated to Primary Care stagnates”.

The first vice president of Asanec explained that, in 2023, Andalusia has reached a per capita expenditure on Health of 1,629.01 euros; During 2024, 1,695.96 euros will be reached, which would mean going from last place in spending per inhabitant in 2021, estimated at 1,486 euros per inhabitant, to 13th place in 2024: 1,695.96 euros per inhabitant, ahead of Madrid, Catalonia. , Murcia and Valencia, according to the data provided by the Health and Consumer Affairs Commission of the Parliament of Andalusia on November 9.

However, “to reach the regional average in relation to health expenditure per inhabitant in 2024, a budget of at least 15,437 million euros would be needed.” That is, in reference to the consolidated budget for 2024 of 14,246 million euros, “the amount allocated to the Ministry of Health would have to be increased by 1,200 million euros more than initially planned,” Almán stressed.

In this framework and taking into account the health reality of Andalusia, “investment is essential to permanently increase the number of nurses in the Public Health System, especially very deficient in the context of primary care.” “We don’t say it, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union itself say it.

Added to this is that “care orientation in the last three or four years has shifted, very rapidly, towards a more curative and restorative model, moving further and further away from the model that is not only curative but also preventive, promoting health and community, and also where accessibility has become an important barrier for patients and families, with waiting lists for in-person consultations that are unaffordable by a public health system.

“Primary care is really sick.” “It is necessary to provide it with greater investments in structure and human resources, the professionals are discouraged” but, above all, “we cannot forget all the Andalusians who need health care, both the sick and healthy population,” he pointed out.

In the context of primary care “it has been shown how a greater allocation of patients to primary care nurses translates into better control, for example, of diabetic patients, and, for this, we need a greater number of professionals.”

Asanec has taken advantage of his intervention before the groups that make up the Parliament’s Committee on Economy, Finance and European Funds to propose some of the healthcare improvements that from “a group that controls the health reality of the population on a daily basis, street by street and neighborhood by neighborhood see as fundamental.

In this way, they have highlighted the need to “work as a team, under equal conditions and respecting the professional skills of all those who make up the team.” Thus, “we cannot ignore that returning doctors and nurses to work together would be very positive for the quality of care.”

Almán has also said that “patient participation, involvement, empowerment and self-management in their health and illness are considered key to health care and that work must be based on primary care health results supported by the best evidence.” and based on the needs of the population, not on economic savings data.

Added to this is the request for improvement in attention to groups of vulnerable people and the orientation to the social dimension of people, in the always attempt to improve their quality of life.” To this end, “we understand that it is necessary to expand the item in Health planned in the 2024 budgets, since they are insufficient to improve the health care that our citizens deserve”.