Boi Ruiz: from directing the private health sector to managing the Health Ministry

The new Catalan Minister for Health comes from the private sector and he is an independent. As the Chair of the Catalan Union of Hospitals, the health business-owners association, he proposed to pay for some service in public hospitals. His main challenge will be to reduce the public expenditure on healthcare.

CNA / Lluís Vilaró

December 30, 2010 11:40 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Boi Ruiz believes that the public health system conveys a certain “feeling that things are free.” As the President of the private health sector association, on various occasions he claimed that the patient should pay some “taxes for using public healthcare.” For instance, he proposed that the patient should pay for hospital meals, sanitary transport or, while the patient is in hospital, some taxes on medication. “It does not make sense that drugs in the hospitals are free and, when the patient leaves the hospital, he or she has to pay 40% of its cost,” said Ruiz in a press conference. Ruiz does not perceive these taxes as a way of earning money, but as a way of making rational use of limited and expensive resources. He presented these points in a written document in 2008, which was signed by other business associations, and delivered to the Health Minister of that time.

Boi Ruiz was born in Barcelona 56 years ago. He graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Barcelona. He also got a diploma in Hospital Management from EADA (Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración, the School of Senior Management and Administration) in Barcelona. Since 2008, he has been the President of the health business owners association, which represents the corporate and business interests of the private health sector in Catalonia. Since 1994, he was its General Director. As a doctor, Ruiz is a specialist in orthopaedic surgery and traumatology. However, he developed his professional career as a consultant, analyst and lobbyist. He directed consultancy projects at the national and international level. He has also been the author of several articles and studies on healthcare, often focusing on the issue of healthcare for dependant people. As a representative of the healthcare business, Ruiz is member of the Board of Directors of the CatSalut, the public-private public consortium on health. He also represents the healthcare sector in the main Catalan business-owners association (Foment del Treball) and in many private foundations and associations. Ruiz also taught undergraduate and graduate courses regarding health economics and health business management in various academic institutions.