Ana Pastor, Second Vice-President of the Spanish parliament, aired her disagreement about the cutbacks being made in the Catalan health system, because – as she said - "there are other non-essential public services which could be cut back, such as regional embassies abroad or certain state-run museums". Ms. Pastor also believes that before making cutbacks in essential areas such as healthcare, not only should structural reforms be made, but also other changes undertaken to increase efficiency. In this sense, she explained that "in many cases services are duplicated. What's more, medicines represent almost 30% of healthcare expenditure yet tonnes are destroyed each year. That's why I'm a supporter of personalised doses".
Ms. Pastor, also Coordinator of Health for the Partido Popular, spoke about how to make the welfare state sustainable during her talk at ESADE. On this note, she underlined the need for a change in the healthcare system, saying that "we boast all the elements to have a good system, but nobody is satisfied with the current model, so we need to head towards a model where more responsibility is given to professionals in return for self-management". Likewise, she pointed out that "the model should change to a process-based care system, in which professionals revolve around patients".
On a different note, Ms. Pastor aired her concern about the differences that exist between healthcare services in different regions of Spain and stressed that "process and result indicators must be evaluated, as it's not normal for there to be so many differences in illnesses such as cancer or heart disease, which indicates that in some places there aren't the suitable experts".
Another issue she addressed was the Dependent Care Act, calling it "a worrying issue in the short to medium term, as it has turned into a tax-based model with no further way out, so it must be made a priority". Ana Pastor also mentioned one of the most-debated healthcare issues today, that of co-payment, vouching that "it has no meaning in a national health system like ours". Continuing, she said that "co-payment initially leads to less frequent visits, but then becomes the exact opposite. What's more, remember that old people are those who visit doctors the most, the majority being pensioners who, in the end, cannot afford co-pay".
Another important issue in a welfare state is, without a doubt, education. On this subject, Ana Pastor believes that "the current model should be changed and focussed towards prioritising excellence". Amongst the issues Ms. Pastor considers should be agreed upon, she highlighted four: syllabus content (saying that "core subjects are important"); a longer pre-university education; authority for teachers (who also "should be motivated"), and, above all, a focus towards excellence, as "it's unthinkable that students can go up year having failed four subjects".
The ESADE Alumni Public Management Club staged this event, with Ana Pastor as guest speaker.
The ESADE Alumni Public Management Club cordially invites you to this dinner talk titled "Is our welfare state sustainable?", which will analyse the ever-growing tension in public finance which, together with widespread demand for more and better services, has spurred a debate about the welfare state we have enjoyed in recent decades. There are different points of view on how to maintain quality public services given today's economic difficulties.
Graduate in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Salamanca and a Civil Servant in the Higher Board of Public Health and Healthcare Administration. She has worked as the Head of Healthcare Planning at Pontevedra Health and Social Services, Manager of Primary Care for the province of Pontevedra, Provincial Director of the Galician Health Service, also in Pontevedra, and Managing Director of the Spanish civil servants' health insurance body MUFACE. She was appointed Under-Secretary of Education and Culture in January 1999, and later Under-Secretary of the Spanish Cabinet. Ms. Pastor served as Under-Secretary of the Home Office from March 2001 to July 2002 and Minister of Health and Consumption from July 2002 to April 2004. She was also Coordinator of Sector-Specific Participation and Action of the People's Party (PP) from March to October 2004. After this, she was elected Member of Parliament for Zamora, and in the fifteenth People's Party Congress she was elected Executive Secretary for Social Policy. Today, Ms. Pastor is a Board Member of the Fundación para el Análisis y los Estudios Sociales (FAES), Deputy Vice-Chairwoman of the Spanish Parliament, Member of Parliament for Pontevedra and Coordinator of Social Participation for the People's Party.