The draft order published on 22 August opens the door to the cession of public spaces to practise medicine in a concerted manner.

The Andalusian organisation has formulated allegations to the draft regulation of the Andalusian executive in which it maintains the “total lack of justification” of the measure.

The Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs of the Andalusian Regional Government announced in August a draft order that opens the door to allow the use of public health facilities by private health companies with which it has agreements. For this reason, the Andalusian Association for Human Rights (APDHA) has shown its firm opposition to “this new attempt to privatise Andalusian healthcare”, making allegations against the order and encouraging “entities and individuals to do the same”, as the deadline for doing so remains open until 12 September. APDHA also understands that “it is no coincidence that this document is being published at this time, with the clear aim of limiting the mobilisation of the Mareas Blancas and associations in defence of public health, without whose push the government of the Junta would have taken even more steps in the direction of privatising our public services”.

In its allegations, the Andalusian entity recalls that the draft order is part of a “programme of transformation of regional regulations” that was launched by the current government of the Junta de Andalucía during the Covid-19 pandemic. The main objective of this regulatory transformation is to reduce administrative controls in order to, in the words of the Consejería de la Presidencia, make Andalusia “the easiest, safest and quickest place to create jobs”. Despite the fact that the strategy adopted by the government of Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla was criticised by the Ombudsman for “establishing a vertical and top-down model of reforms”, the Partido Popular has continued the roadmap initiated in 2020.

On this occasion, APDHA requests that this order not be approved, as it is not justified “neither in terms of its legality nor its timeliness”. The Andalusian organisation defends a fully public model of healthcare ownership and management. However, in the opinion of the Andalusian association, the regulation that the regional government is now trying to approve has no justification whatsoever because “as the bill itself states, the only reason that the Andalusian government put forward for approving this measure was due to the situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”. Given that the World Health Organisation declared the end of the pandemic on 5 May, “there is no reason to justify this regulation”, the association maintains. For this reason, they claim that the only purpose of this draft order is to “increase the profits of private companies”.

In the event that their request is not granted, APDHA’s allegations request that these agreements should be “a transitional strategy” and that they have as their horizon “a system of totally public ownership and management of healthcare”. Although the Andalusian organisation fears that this strategy constitutes a transition towards a completely opposite model, they insist on the need to audit the real costs of subcontracts and to guarantee the quality of contracted services under the same conditions as those required for public services, guaranteeing the transparency of this information. Finally, they demand that the declarations of interests of the entities that contract their activity with the administration with any position with decision-making power within the public administration be made public.

APDHA points out that this draft order constitutes “the umpteenth attempt by this Andalusian government to open the way for the privatisation of public health in Andalusia”. On this occasion, such privatisation is carried out through the private use of public infrastructures, which will only result in the further deterioration of the right of access to health care that all people have. The Andalusian organisation concludes that the regulatory framework that the Junta is trying to build “is laying the foundations for the Andalusian population to stop having quality public health care”.