The report concludes that there was a rise in illness during the period of the financial crisis. | Gemma Andreu


A thesis by Baltasar Cortés, professor of economics at the University of the Balearic Islands, has examined the link between recession and health.

A conclusion is that there was a rise in illness during the period of the financial crisis.

Between 2008 and 2015 there was a 22% increase in illness diagnosis and an eleven per cent rise in deaths.

In 2007, the unemployment rate was 7.2%. Five years later, it had reached 23%.

Over this time and up to 2015, there was a correlation between heart and mental health complaints. There was also a rise in the number of appointments with specialists. This created "hospital-centrism".

In other words, patients started to go straight to hospitals rather than to their local health centres. Cortés places a figure of 600,000 on this movement to hospital emergency units.

There was additional strain on the public health service because some 34,000 patients gave up private health insurance. This had an impact on the private sector which deals with between 25% and 30% of health needs in the Balearics.

Revenue for the private sector was cut and this had its own impact on the public health service.

Cortés says that it is a myth that there wasn't investment in public health. The issue was that the private sector wasn't compensating for spending.

The public treasury was being spared some 480 million euros per annum because of private health care, but this began to change. In 2010 alone, there were job losses amounting to 576 in the private health care sector.

In terms of jobs in the public health service, Cortés points out that a figure of 1,400 lost jobs is "totally false".

The Partido Popular government from 2011 was accused of major cuts to employment, but these amounted to 177 in 2011, twenty in 2012 and 232 in 2013.

In 2009, when PSOE were in government, there had been 150 job losses.