In the public healthcare system in Spain, the average general practitioner (GP) attends a population of more than 1300 people. This means that they have appointments with tens of people per day and such an appointment lasts, on average, not much longer than five minutes. A government survey reveals that a staggering 20.7% of people who used the system were not able to participate in decision-making about their health and treatment ‘as much as they would have liked to’, showing mass violations of informed consent in the midst of the capitalists’ urge which packs each doctor with thousands of patients. It is no wonder that when there is so little time, the result is systematic mass violations of medical ethics. And for capitalism, a few euros cut off the public healthcare budget which goes into the capitalists’ pockets is worth such violations, deaths and poor healthcare.
The average waiting time for a surgery in the public system is 3 months, which means many wait over a year and the amount of people waiting for a surgery is now over 80,000+. It is constantly increasing and it was 50,000 in 2004. People constantly die waiting for a surgery. For example in January it was Amaresh Fernandez (24) who was on a waiting list of 5 years for a critical surgery and had gone so far as to sue the government for delaying her surgery even further. Clearly there are enough resources to save such people, but instead someone needed billions of dollars so they can spend it on their mansion, private airplane, etc. Another death which won’t be counted in a “Black Book of Capitalism”.
Here’s the process: get a GP appointment, wait weeks for it to occur, go to the healthcare center, arrive at your scheduled time, wait up to hours to be attended, get quickly diagnosed and kicked out in a couple of minutes, get referred to a specialist, wait about a month, repeat the going to the healthcare center process, get diagnosed with needing a surgery, then wait years for it and die. That’s the reality of Spanish Healthcare in Capitalism.
This situation will go on and in fact become exacerbated as the ruling principle of the economy is not the needs of all but rather profit under this tyrannical capitalist system. It can only be resolved with the establishment of an internationally planned economy where resources are assigned according to rational principles and need, not profit. The division between private and public healthcare in Spain only makes things worse. All resources should be assigned according to need – completely nationalize healthcare now! A death of one can’t be tolerated merely because someone else wanted to make profit. The difference between being able to pay and not, under this mixed system, is that some die while others survive, when all can be saved, merely because of a number in a bank account. Such is the immorality of the worldwide capitalist system. And not only that, but the bourgeois rulers constantly undermine the public system with spending cuts while increasing taxes in what has been termed ‘austerity’, hated by most. Doctors are desperate to help patients more, but are not allowed to.
From 2009 to 2016 public healthcare spending was reduced from 6.7% to 5.6% – a trend started by the fake left neoliberal PSOE and continued by the conservative PP parties. And yet, 60 718 million euros were spent to “save the banks” in the same period of time. Only 4.3% of this money has been recovered. What are a few dozen corpses when a CEO needs to have a pool party?
And this is with the Spanish healthcare system where healthcare is free to almost all, and even this brutal savage system is considered ‘miraculous’, in comparison with the horrifying rest of the capitalist world. Over in the U.S. medical bills bankrupt 2 million per year, and many choose to not get treatment for their diseases. There are 45,000 deaths per year in the U.S. from lack of healthcare. Under capitalism the survival and treatment of a person is not considered a priority and profit is valued as more important. Lining up all these corpses and displaying them would produce a picture not less grotesque than Hitler’s holocaust.
Back to Spain, under the mass employment regime prevalent, 32% of doctors who were unemployed in 2016 were not even considered unemployed by the state, and this rate is steadily rising per year, it was 27% in 2015. 29.8% of these have been out of employment for over a year. Out of the employed doctors, 50% are only working temporarily, and 60% of these are employed for less than six months. A socialist system could put all to work, improve the economy and save lives.