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The Spanish Platform for Patient Organisations responds to COVID19

Our member Plataforma de Organizaciones de Pacientes updated us on thow they have been working to minimize the effect of COVID19 on patients with chronic conditions.

How has the COVID19 pandemic been affecting Spain on a general scale?

The world in general, and Spain in particular, as one of the countries most devastated by this crisis, are witnessing the vulnerabilities in our social, economic, and political systems. As such, besides the deep wound in health, we are experiencing a detrimental impact on social protection, employment, as well as the adverse effects on the psychological and emotional realm, among others.

As a network of patient organisations amid the outbreak, what was your main concern?

Some of the concerns collected and transferred to the regional and national policymakers were focused on the following:

  • The protection of individuals with a risk illness in the working environment.
  • The home delivery of treatments provided in hospital pharmacies. Thanks to our collaboration with some hospitals, and through volunteer initiatives, we could make such delivery.
  • The need to keep COVID19 free spaces in hospitals so that we can continue to provide health care to risk patients who require their treatments.
  • The elimination of the necessary visas requested for some medications and food products, to avoid risks for our patients due to administrative delays.
  • Specific social protection measures for individuals at risk of exclusion, such as patients with chronic diseases, regardless of their age.

More concretely, what actions have you carried out until now?

First, we have strengthened our free legal clinic service, in operation since 2016, to provide legal advice to patients and organizations, especially given the increased number of requests and consultations received as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, the legal team keeps us fully informed and advised to defend the rights of patients effectively.

Secondly, we continue to strive to offer reliable and accurate information to our partner members and patients, which is especially challenging due to the overload of data, the fast speed of publications, and the general collapse in institutions, organizations, and media. As far as this point is concerned, we have strengthened our communication actions both internally (with our member organizations), and externally. We try to avoid one-way communication to encourage debate, and confrontation of ideas, since our goal is to make proposals with a holistic approach to ensure the full coverage of the patient's needs.

Thirdly, we are currently working on a document that will be reinforced with the inputs from our advisory committee (made up of agents from the health and social sector), to raise the patients’ needs, as well as proposals accordingly upon the completion of confinement.

Fourth, we are working with our partners to launch a new project to measure the impact this crisis is having on patients. We hope this initiative will help in the design of a public health strategy that guarantees the patients’ safety, and meets their needs.

Find more information about the Spanish Platform for Patient Organisations (Plataforma de Organizaciones de Pacientes) here>>>