In the Canary Islands there are 7,562 people who are recognized as dependents, but who still cannot receive the benefits to which they are entitled. To these people must be added the applicants who have not yet seen their situation recognized. If they are included, the waiting list then rises to 63,000 people. Attention to dependents continues to be one of the unsolved tasks in the management of the Government of the Canary Islands. However, some steps are being taken to improve the data and, in the last year, the Archipelago has increased by 11.4% the number of dependents who receive some type of aid. According to the report of the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso) on the Impact of Covid-19 on the System for Autonomy and Care for Dependency (SAAD), the Islands have also improved the number of beneficiaries entitled to benefits who are pending receipt by 15.5%.
The study, presented last week to the autonomous communities, places the Canary Islands as one of the regions with the most positive evolution in care for dependency. The Canarian Executive has increased by 1,353 the number of files resolved in a year compared to August 2019, despite the circumstances that occurred during the months in which the state of alarm was decreed in the face of the advance of the coronavirus pandemic. This means that in the last year 3.7% more files were processed than in the previous year, a figure that makes the Islands the fourth autonomous region with a better record, only behind Valencia, with an increase of 11.5 %, Navarra and the Balearic Islands, both with a growth of 4.2%.
The general director of Dependency and Disability, Miguel Montero, has repeatedly expressed that one of his priorities is that people who have a recognized benefit can enjoy it, that is, translate what is put on paper into a right. However, this is not an easy task. The autonomous community does not have enough places in social health centers to respond to all dependents who already have an assigned aid. In the last year, the number of people who find themselves in this situation has decreased by 15.5%, from 9,040 people to the current 7,562.
In order to respond to this flagrant deficiency, it is essential to expand the Social and Health Infrastructure Plan in which, today, the construction of 7,000 places is planned in three years. In this way, the waiting list registered up to now would be covered but, as more files are resolved, the demand will continue to increase, so the forecast of places will fall short again. In addition, the Canary Islands are very far from complying with the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) which estimates that the number of places in centers for the elderly should be 5% compared to the population over 65 years of age.
In the Archipelago there are 25,286 people who receive some kind of aid for dependency. If we compare this figure with the last published by the Imserso before the state of alarm, beneficiaries with benefits have grown by 7.6% in the Canary Islands, with 1,793 more people. Only Valencia (8.5%) and Asturias (8.2%) confirm rates higher than those registered in the Islands.
The number of applications has risen by 9.8% since August 2019, which places the autonomous community as the third in which more people have started the processing of aid. In Murcia there was a year-on-year growth of 14.2% and in Valencia of 12.3%, on the contrary, Catalonia and Galicia, with –2.9%, are the regions to which the fewest applications have arrived. Specifically, in the Canary Islands there are 55,441 requests pending resolution, 4,947 submitted in the last year.
The number of dependents who died in the Canary Islands between the months of August 2019 and 2020 was 4,293. Of these, 1,544 were awaiting valuation. Although, these figures include the nearly 1,200 files that corresponded to people who had died in the last eight years and that the General Directorate of Dependency and Disability withdrew from the system when it was put in order during the state of alarm. and Agenda 2030 will deploy an economic reinforcement of 600 million euros within the framework of the shock plan to improve the Dependency system. This is reflected in the draft of this strategy prepared by the department led by Pablo Iglesias and which will be presented to the autonomous communities for debate at the Territorial Council of Social Services and the System for Autonomy and Care for Dependency. This plan was advanced by the Secretary of State for Social Rights, Ignacio Álvarez, in Congress and explained that it will be reflected in the General State Budgets designed by the Executive. The document sets the objectives of “improving the management” of the Dependency care system, “reducing the waiting list, expanding benefits and services, and ensuring adequate financing of these measures by increasing the contribution of the General Administration of the State ”, in order that the autonomies see their financing improved. The plan estimates that the planned increase in the minimum level and the recovery of the agreed level would mean an increase of 600 million euros in the contribution of the State Administration in 2021 “compared to the current budget”. EP