A relentless beat echoes in the room. Lub, dub . Lub, dub . The vital breath resonates in the pool surrounding the walls of the room. Water dances at its own pace with sumptuous and precise swings. In the center of the room, a pivot invites you to place your hand middle finger to be more exact – on an infrared light sensor that measures and puts voice to the heart rate.
Faster beats, others slower. Always lub, dub . I could not begin other than with the sound of the heart the Universal exposure . Health in Catalonia that, since Friday, is exhibited at the Palau Robert in Barcelona.
The sample radiographs the health status of the Catalans and their health model. In an interactive journey through the sector, the exhibition claims the benefits of the system and the good work of its professionals.
A universal, integrative health system, ready for the citizen 365 days, 24 hours. It omits, of course, the sorrows that torment the Administration, such as waiting lists or lack of resources and investments.
“It is an exhibition that wants to explain the country. Claiming the virtues and the enormous complexity of the health system, ”admitted the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, during the presentation of the sample.
After the heartbeat room, dozens of more or less full specimens draw the most common evils of the Catalans. Hypertension, respiratory infections, anxiety and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders take the cake.
They are the most common reasons for consultation in health centers scattered throughout the territory (67 hospitals, 437 primary care centers and 804 local offices scattered throughout 947 municipalities).
In front of the specimens, an immense population pyramid crystallizes the challenge of population aging. Catalonia has a life expectancy of 83.6 years, the second highest in the world, only behind Japan.
The Catalan health system also claims, in the exhibition, its universal character. That one that fulfilled the government of Mariano Rajoy in 2012 when he conditioned the right to the assistance to the income of work (to be assured to the National Institute of the Social Security). Catalonia tried to circumvent the rule with several instructions and ended up deploying a universal health law in 2017.
Today, with a shower of radiographs, the exhibition shows the most absolute equality in the eyes of X-rays. Health care is the same depending on age, gender or social status. Everyone can go to the system and they will be taken care of.
As the visitor moves through the rooms, he abandons his passive role and the exhibition invites him to participate. With helmets as a stethoscope, one can listen to the sounds of the territory, from a childhood vaccination in a Manresa consultation to a meeting of the Minister of Health, Alba Vergés, and his team at the headquarters of the Department, in Barcelona. Also the traffic noise, the monotonous beep of a chemotherapy or the transfer of traffic in the city, causing many health problems arising from pollution.
In order to become aware of the use – or abuse – of the health system and the time it devotes, the sample asks the visitor again. “How often do you go to the doctor?” Asks a giant mural. At his side, blue stickers – “my health can improve” – and red – “I’m like a rose” invite to mark on the wall the regularity of medical visits according to the age of the interlocutor.
In healing, time is money and every minute counts. Here are some figures that also highlights the sample: every eight hours, a transplant is performed ; every 10 seconds, a vaccine is administered; every minute, 131 patients are treated in a health center; every day more than a thousand surgical interventions are performed; every hour a person dies from tobacco and every two and a half, breast cancer is detected.
Some data that do not appear in the exhibition and that, unfortunately, also redraw a part of the system are the 181,000 people awaiting surgery , the 538 days a patient has to wait for a visit to urology at the Parc Taulí de Sabadell hospital or the year of delay to undergo a computerized tomography (CAT) at the Plató hospital in Barcelona.
Aware, however, of the less friendly face of a successful healthcare model, the Vice President of the Generalitat and Minister of Economy, Pere Aragonés, took advantage of the long presentation of the exhibition to announce that he wants to inject 900 million euros more to the Budgets that negotiate with the commons. “We are updating the system, but we also have to project it to the future,” Aragonés said solemnly. With that amount the cuts made since 2011 by the successive governments of Artur Mas are not reversed, but they are quite close. As long as the budget negotiations do not fail.
The exhibition, open until May 31 and free, claims the visitor for the last time in a final room about the future of the health system. Would you make vaccination mandatory? Who has more responsibility for our health: