Spanish newspaper El País has reported that growing numbers of people are taking out private health insurance in Spain following cuts to public healthcare. The government made cuts to public healthcare in 2013 and since this time the number of people taking out private health insurance has increased by more than one million.
Data from the national Statistics institute reveals that one-fifth of households have private health insurance at an annual cost of €1,186, and that the sector experienced a growth rate of 5.6 per cent in 2018. According to El País, many customers have turned to private health coverage following bad experiences in the public healthcare system. Other reasons include not being eligible for fertility treatments in the public healthcare system or working for a company that covers private healthcare insurance.
Rubén Sánchez, a spokesman for consumer association FACUA, said that the main drivers of private health cover are deterioration, saturation, waiting lists and cuts to services, while Juan Oliva, a former president of the Association of the Health Economy, warned that there is a risk that the public healthcare system will break and deteriorate.