Catalan chemists go on strike because of public payment delays

October 25, 2012 01:53 AM | CNA

Chemists in Catalonia had called to go on strike on Thursday because the Catalan Government owed them two payments for publicly funded drugs. According to the Catalan Government, the payments were delayed as they depended on receiving the funds from the Spanish Government’s Liquidity Fund. The Spanish Government announced this week it was transferring €99 million to the Catalan Government to pay the chemists. However, on Wednesday the chemists decided to maintain Thursday’s strike “as a warning signal” for the uncertainty on future payments and because they have not received yet the promised payment.

The Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona discovers a new path for Parkinson’s potential treatments

October 18, 2012 12:32 AM | CNA

A study developed by researchers from Barcelona’s Center of Regenerative Medicine and California’s Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute identified a mutation in the nucleus of human neural stem cells that is linked to Parkinson’s, which may help to diagnose the disease and open a new field for targeted treatments. The prestigious journal ‘Nature’ published the study, which could also help to explain why the Parkinson’s disease is often associated with clinical depression and anxiety. The Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona is directed by Juan Carlos Izpisúa, who participated in the study; it is located in the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, next to the Hospital del Mar.

Quit smoking with Barça and the European Commission

September 18, 2012 08:07 PM | CNA

FC Barcelona and the European Commission join forces to help millions of Europeans to give up smoking. The campaign aims at helping 28 million people giving up tobacco. “With this joint action, we aim to help football fans all over Europe to retake control over their health and their lives, encouraging them to be as passionate and committed to their own health as they are to good football” explained FC Barcelona’s President, Sandro Rosell.

The Catalan Government guarantees primary healthcare to all immigrants registered for at least three months

August 30, 2012 11:20 PM | CNA

The decision by Spanish Government to restrict access to the public healthcare system could leave 600,000 people in Catalonia (8% of the population) without primary and specialised medical attention. 180,000 of these people would be foreigners. The Catalan Minister for Health, Boi Ruiz, explained that the measure aims to guarantee the universal access to healthcare to all the population, independent of their legal status, but at the same time avoid healthcare tourism.

The Catalan Health Minister warns that not subsidising 417 drugs may increase health spending

August 17, 2012 11:21 PM | CNA / Guillem Sánchez

The Spanish Social Security has published the list with the 417 drugs that from September will no longer be subsidised in order to reduce public spending and meet deficit targets. Most of them are some of the most consumed medicines for minor symptoms, such as heartburn, muscle pain, or diarrhoea. Since the measure is not popular among doctors, the Catalan Health Minister, Boi Ruiz, said that more expensive drugs with similar effects but not included in the list may now be prescribed, which would increase pubic healthcare spending instead of reducing it.

Immigrants in Spain to pay between €710 and €1860 per year to access healthcare if they have not contributed to Social Security

August 7, 2012 10:43 PM | CNA

The Catalan Government will allow universal access to community health centres, despite the Spanish Government’s decision. Autonomous Communities are those managing the public healthcare system. After announcing that immigrants would not be able to access the service without contributing to the Social Security system, the Spanish Government is now preparing formulas allowing them to continue accessing the public healthcare system if they pay the fee. The Spanish Health, Social Services and Equality has confirmed that foreign people less than 65 years old will pay €710 per year and those older will pay €1,860. Access will be free in emergencies as well as for pregnant women and minors.

The Catalan Government provides explanations to the Parliament regarding social care organisations’ payments

August 4, 2012 12:13 AM | CNA

The Catalan Social Affairs Minister, Josep Lluís Cleries, stated before the Catalan Parliament that €70 million had not been paid on time to health and social care organisations this August. He said he was sorry for the situation but underlined that the €50 million destined for private citizens had been paid. The Catalan Finance Minister, Andreu Mas-Colell, emphasised that, if the Spanish Government does not activate the Liquidity Fund for the Autonomous Communities and similar measures, he cannot guarantee the situation will not be repeated in the future. However, he said to be confident the Spanish Government will put these mechanisms in place soon. The Left-Wing opposition parties had requested the urgent hearings.

The Catalan Government will wait until dialogue expires before bringing Rajoy’s education decree to the Constitutional Court

June 14, 2012 01:20 AM | CNA

On Tuesday the Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees (CGE) declared that the Spanish Government decree cutting €3 billion in education does not respect 2 Constitution articles and 5 other articles from Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy, being thus unconstitutional and going beyond Madrid’s jurisdiction. The Catalan Government following the CGE’s unconstitutionality assessment decided to bring the education decree to the Constitutional Court(TC), as it did last week with Rajoy’s health decree. However, after the Spanish Government threatened to bring approved initiatives from the Catalan Executive to the TC, the Catalan Government decided to modify the decrees through dialogue and bring the decrees to the TC as a last option.

The Catalan Oncology Institute gets maximum international distinction for its fight against tobacco

May 21, 2012 11:04 PM | CNA / Adrià Attardi

The centre received the ‘Gold Level Award’ from the Global Network for Tobacco Health Care Services, thanks to its fight against the effects of smoking. The jury emphasised the training given to both hospital workers and patients in order to give up smoking and the achievement of a strict non-smoking area in this health centre’s facilities. Only ten hospitals around the world have this distinction, among them another Catalan institution: Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Manresa, in Central Catalonia.

Immigrants lacking legal residence will have their access to the Catalan public healthcare guaranteed

May 10, 2012 01:29 AM | CNA

The Catalan Government has rejected the Spanish Executive’s initiative to limit public healthcare to foreign nationals without a legalised residence status. The Spanish Government proposed that irregular immigrants would only have access to emergency rooms and obstetrics services, but not to regular treatments and consultations. The Catalan Health Minister, Boi Ruiz, confirmed on Friday that in Catalonia, all foreign residents, independent of their legal status, would have free access to the public health system for “solidarity” principles but also “for public health reasons”. Besides the ethical issue, experts had warned about infectious diseases that could have increased because of having groups of people excluded from the health system.

Catalonia questions the constitutionality of the Spanish Government’s education and healthcare reforms

May 9, 2012 12:47 AM | CNA / Patricia Mateos / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Catalan Government has announced a plan against the Spanish Government’s “recentralisation offensive”. One of its actions is taking the education and healthcare reforms adopted by Madrid to the Catalan Council for Constitutional Guarantees, as a first step to bring them to Spain’s Constitutional Court. The Catalan Government believes that some of the measures invade its jurisdiction, as it directly manages education and healthcare. Another measure is issuing a report pointing out the Spanish Government’s duplicities, such as maintaining ministries such as education, healthcare and culture. These policies are managed by the Autonomies. Left-Wing opposition parties have urged the Catalan Government to take further measures, while the PP has accused the Catalan Executive of “lying”.

The Catalan Government keeps the drug prescription fee despite Madrid’s additional measures

April 19, 2012 09:56 PM | CNA / Patricia Mateos

The day after the Spanish Government imposed increasing the price citizens pay for medication, the Spokesperson for the Catalan Government confirmed that Catalonia will maintain the €1 drug prescription fee. The Catalan Health Minister had said earlier they would study if the drug prescription fee would be implemented. The main doctors union and Left-Wing opposition parties asked the Catalan Government to eliminate the drug prescription fee, because it would make Catalan citizens pay more for their medication than the rest of Spanish citizens.

The Catalan Health Minister considers the Spanish Government’s measures to cut spending “to be insufficient”

April 19, 2012 12:28 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Spanish Minister of Health met with her counterparts from the Autonomous Communities to discuss measures to reduce healthcare spending by €7 billion. Pensioners will have to pay for 10% of their medication, with a maximum of between €8 and €18 per month depending on their income. Furthermore, people with a job will have to pay for 40% to 60% of the price, depending on their income. Besides, the number of pills will better adapt to prescriptions, drug purchases will be centralised and generic drug prescriptions will be fostered. Catalonia might not eliminate the drug prescription fee although the final decision will be taken once the impact of measures is fully studied. The Catalan Minister also emphasised that the main problem in Catalonia is “the system’s funding” and not expenditure, which cannot be further reduced.