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Private health system: a key complement to the Osakidetza public service

Although public health is good in the Basque Country, there is anetwork of private hospitals and clinics offering excellent healthcare services. They efficiently support the Basque public health service, Osakidetza.

Almost 90% of the population are satisfied or very satisfied with the Basque health system, while 95% consider their healthcare needs are adequately met, as revealed in the Health Survey for the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (ESCAV) 2013.

Furthermore, 8 out of 10 Basque citizens perceive the health system as good or very good. This means a 30% rise in positive perceptions over the past decade, reaffirming the trust Basque users have in their health system and the efficient services provided in the field of healthcare.

According to the Basque Institute of Statistics (Eustat)there are 38 medical and pharmaceutical insurance providers in the Basque Country giving coverage to more than 380,000 citizens (17% of the population). In fact, the number of individuals with private health insurance grew steadily through 2010, becoming stable in 2011.

High grades for private health system

The perceptions of the private health users are also very positive:80% give high grades to service quality, according to the Private Health Barometer 2013 published by the Institute for the Development and Integration of the Healthcare System(IDIS).

The IDIS survey, measuring the quality of healthcare services in private centres, states that 89% individuals with double (private/public)coverage recommend the private system, mentioning service speed as one of its main advantages.

Published in 2013, the IDIS report also includes the latest data available on per capita expenditure on private health in the Basque Country: €648 (data from 2012).

Leading healhcare centres in Bizkaia

Some of Bizkaia’s most important private health centres are Sanatorio Bilbaíno, with a century-old history, Clínica Virgen Blanca andClínica IMQ Zorrotzaurre, boasting state-of-the-art facilities. All three are located in Bilbao. Then there are Hospital Quirón Bizkaia, in Erandio, home to the first private neonatal ITU in the Basque CountryHospital San Juan de Dios, in Santurtzi, and Clínica IVIBilbao, in Leioa, specialising in assisted reproduction, among others.

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