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The Spanish long-term care system in transition: ten years since the 2006 Dependency Act

Peña-Longobardo, Luz María, Oliva-Moreno, Juan, García-Armesto, Sandra and Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina (2016) The Spanish long-term care system in transition: ten years since the 2006 Dependency Act. Health Policy, 120 (10). pp. 1177-1182. ISSN 0168-8510

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2016.08.012


At the end of 2006, a new System for Promotion of Personal Autonomy and Assistance for Persons in a Situation of Dependency (SAAD) was established in Spain through the approval of the Act 39/2006 of 14th December (the Dependency Act, DA). The DA acknowledged the universal entitlement of Spanish citizens to social services. The recent economic crisis added degrees of uncertainty to several dimensions of the SAAD implementation process. Firstly, the political consensus on which its foundation rested upon has weakened. Secondly, implementation of the SAAD was hampered by several challenges that emerged in the context of the economic crisis. Thirdly, the so-called “dependency limbo” (i.e. the existence of a large number of people eligible for benefits but who do not receive them) has become a structural feature of the system. Finally, contrary to the spirit of the DA, monetary benefits have become the norm rather than a last resort. High heterogeneity across regions regarding the number of beneficiaries covered and services provided reveal the existence of regional inequity in access to long-term care services in the country. Broadly, the current evidence on the state of the SAAD suggests the need to improve the quality of governance, to enhance coordination between health and social systems, to increase the system's transparency, to foster citizens’ participation in decision-making and to implement a systematic monitoring of the system.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 09:18
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:26

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