Palma.—Regional Health Minister Carmen Castro said yesterday in Palma that the announcement ahead of Monday's government budget presentation for 2012, is a “clear reflection” of the commitment of regional President José Ramón Bauzá to Health, Education and Social Services.

Castro made no secret of the fact that the 1'302.9 million euros is to some extent a provisional figure but it was apparently sound enough for her to express satisfaction with the increase.

The present Health budget is infact one which was applied in 2010 - choosing not to present a budget for 2011, the previous Socialist Coalition government had merely rolled the budget over into this year without making any changes.

Public health
A vast majority of next year's global spend, said Castro, will be poured into the Balearic Public Health Service, Ib-Salut to cover both primary and specialist care.

Ib-Salut, confirmed Castro, will therefore be benefiting from 1'170 million euros of the total budget, 2.68 percent more than the previous Socialist coalition had allotted.

The current plans of the Partido Popular Balearic government insist on the sustainability and maintenance of a public health system - including keeping open the 24-hour emergency health centres - and already-existing programmes of social welfare.

Government spokesman Rafael Bosch had already announced at the end of last week that the budget proposals which are being presented this Monday will go before the Balearic Parliament around the 7th November. The Partido Popular enjoys a large majority in Parliament and it is therefore being predicted with some confidence that the budget proposals will not meet overriding opposition. Specifically in relation to the budget for public health, a rise in spending had been overdue for some time as previous governments had “frozen” funds awarded to Ib-Salut as a result of various “financial adjustments”.

Political commentators said yesterday that the fact that more money will be spent on the health service will not automatically make it a better one.

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