Plan to charge EUR 1 to see doctor in Catalonia
13 July 2004, BARCELONA — A row blew up Tuesday over a plan by the regional government in Catalonia to charge one euro to see a doctor.
13 July 2004
BARCELONA — A row blew up Tuesday over a plan by the regional government in Catalonia to charge one euro to see a doctor.
The Generalitat, or Catalan government, is to consult a panel of experts over the proposal in an effort to cut the rising debt incurred by public health.
Marina Geli, the Socialist head of the Catalan health department, believes the plan would "make better use of the health system".
The controversial move is to be introduced in France, where it has received similar strong opposition.
But consumers groups and opposition political parties in the north-east region of Spain reacted angrily against the plan.
The Federation of Consumers (FACUA) said it "absolutely rejected" the proposal.
In a statement, FACUA said it would "break the principal of public health in which all users contribute to the system independently of the level to which they use its services."
It added that Geli had made a "grave" mistake and suggested that there were better ways to improve the public health system.
The conservative opposition deputy, Joan López, accused Geli of setting up a "clandestine" commission of experts to consider the controversial plan.
López claimed Geli had not consulted the opposition groups in the regional parliament about the proposed measure.
At present, visits to doctors are free, though in some cases chemists charge for medicine. This can be reclaimed.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news