Union urges Spanish doctors to report effects of budget cuts on patient care

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 21 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1270
  1. Aser García Rada
  1. 1Madrid

The regional health department in Catalonia has launched an inquiry after one of its public hospitals, which is under private management, rented out theatre space so that a patient could have a private operation after cuts to the region’s health budget as part of austerity measures.

Catalonia was the first region in Spain to introduce cuts in health spending a year ago (BMJ 2011;343:d6466, doi:10.1136/bmj.d6466). These have led the hospital in the town of La Seu d’Urgell, a public hospital that is privately managed, to rent out unused shifts in its operating theatres to private patients, the newspaper El País revealed on 8 February.

A 66 year old woman who needed knee surgery became the …

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