With cost pressures mounting, Spain is increasingly turning towards digital solutions to maintain the high levels of care provided by its healthcare system.
Spain is at a point of disruption in which the healthcare system is facing big challenges; the solution to which has to be technology
Angeles Delgado, Fujitsu
As Angeles Delgado, president for Spain and Portugal at Japanese ICT firm Fujitsu notes, Spain has a very efficient healthcare system which spends less than those of France, Germany, and Switzerland, but is still well aligned with the European average. Spain is one of the top three countries globally with the highest life expectancy and most health issues in the country can be dealt with at the primary care level which accounts for about 14.3 percent of expenditure. However, Spain is at a point of disruption in which the healthcare system is facing big challenges; the solution to which has to be technology.”
Delgado feels that there needs to be a greater allocation of public funds towards IT solutions in healthcare. “Looking at other industries like telecommunications and banking, the budget expenditure on IT ranges anywhere between five and six percent,” she points out. “Unfortunately, in healthcare, we see that of the overall budget, only 1.2 percent is allocated to IT – a shift in mindset is needed within the industry. There is no room left to cut costs in clinics and hospitals and increasing demands cannot be met without upgrading the system. Now is the time to invest – the only way forward is through digital technology.”
Understandably, Delgado sees Fujitsu as the ideal provider of this technology, the company having already struck a deal with SERMAS, the Madrid hospital network, to provide complete IT solutions for healthcare institutions across the Spanish capital. She asserts that, “SERMAS is one of the most successful healthcare services in Spain. They have always been very open to technology and they have had good experiences in the past working with Fujitsu.” Delgado continues, “There is now one single service to handle IT for all of SERMAS’ hospitals, which means managing the networks, servers, and access. SERMAS sees Fujitsu as a partner with end-to-end capabilities and the necessary level of investment to walk through the future.”
Fernando Prados Roa, deputy minister of health for the Community of Madrid explains the rationale behind the deal thusly. “We are working to create an IT system to link healthcare across the entire system, which is something we lack at the moment. This will help to achieve a more complete integration between institutions including hospitals, primary care centres and urgent care centres. Due to the rapidly changing nature of technology, many institutions have their own IT systems, therefore, the aim is to unite the centres in this regard to establish stronger collaboration networks of data exchange.”
Add Your Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.