By Jason Moore

IT is always nice to see that people are pleased with the Spanish National Health Service. Palma's Son Dureta hospital has received plenty of praise over recent years even on a British television documentary. The fact that Spanish doctors also speak highly of the British National Health Service is no major surprise either. With all the billions of pounds which is pumped into the NHS in Britain every year if doctors didn't speak highly of it then tbe British government would have a serious problem. I think it is worth remembering in Spain that a sizeable part of the population have private medical insurance. I refuse to take out a private policy on the grounds that with all the social security I pay every month I feel it would be stupid to go private, especially as our principal hospitals appear to be so good. Letters to the editor to this newspaper have underlined how great hospitals here are and how poor they are in Britain. A relative of mine spent 10 days in a National Health Service hospital in Britain and said the treatment she received was first class. I can't defend the National Health Service in Britain because I have little knowledge of it (thankfully!). But what I do know is that the government is investing many billions of pounds and goes to great lengths to recruit Spanish and other foreign medical staff. A major effort and financial commitment is being made and this has to pay dividends in the future. The Spanish government is doing likewise. However, while the island now has three major NHS hospitals it also has at least 10 private hospitals which, along side their counterparts in the public sector, continue to go from strength to strength. Spain's mixture of private and state medical care is obviously and interesting mix but depends on whether a sizeable number of people are prepared to pay.


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