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Spain Hospital Waiting Times Double Since 2008

Source: Sputnik - Wed 8th Apr 2015
Spain Hospital Waiting Times Double Since 2008

The hangover from Spain's 7-year long economic crisis, combined with a range of cuts to public spending introduced 3 years ago, has resulted in Hospital waiting lists increasing by 60%, El Pais reported on Wednesday.

Since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, the number of patients currently waiting for operations has risen to over 77,000 compared to approximately 30,000 in 2006, the news outlet reported citing Ministry of Health data.

"Hospital staff and beds cuts, along with deterioration of the primary healthcare system, explain the decrease in the number of surgical operations being made," a spokesperson for the Spanish Social Party Jose Manuel Freire told El Pais.

According to the Spanish Confederation of Workers (CCOO), over the last 6years public hospitals in Spain have been severely underfinanced making it impossible to cut waiting times for patients expecting operations.

"Resources and the budget have been sequestered a year after year. That is what affects [the rise] of patients waiting for the surgical operations," Rosa Cuadrado, representative of CCOO said, was quoted by the media as saying.

The current economic crisis in Spain began in 2008. From then through 2012, the country experienced a deep recession and one of the worst unemployment rates in the Eurozone.

EU fiscal rules back in 2012 forced the Spanish government to adopt austerity measures requiring slashing the state deficit to 3% by 2016. As a consequence, government has reduced spending on public services.

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