Attention to dependency in Spain has gone through an unprecedented and cruel desert crossing that lasts seven years. We say unprecedented because the rights that remained in force after the cuts could not be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of dependent people who saw how the promises of support and attention turned into abandonment, indifference and desperate bureaucracy. The cruelty is seen in that after the trompe l'oeil of speeches and great numbers there is simply abandonment of people who need attention to function in the daily life and families that are forced to care and attend with little support and without respite, many times beyond what Humanly possible.
Now that finally! The General Budgets of the State could reactivate the investment in this matter, we are in serious danger of the sterile electioneering quarrel and the petty postures neglecting the important issues for the people. Spain needs to develop an efficient system of care for dependent people that has its sights set on the next thirty years and we have not done more than start its development. The demographic challenge; the overload of the health system due to attention to chronicity; the negative gender impact that a family view of care can have; the need to create agile and flexible devices that truly respond to the needs of each person, are challenges of sufficient strategic importance as being taken very seriously.
In the last two years this subject has been subject to the broadest political consensus. The entire parliamentary arch, with a much larger majority than the one that led to the motion of censorship, adhered to a State Pact that promised, at least, to reverse the cuts. All the autonomous communities –managers of this social policy- analyzed the matter by mandate of the last Conference of Presidents and ruled that it was essential to give new impetus to the system in the face of widespread recognition that they are not fulfilling citizenship.
The budget proposed in terms of dependence is essential.
It is vital for more than one million dependents and their families. So much so that if these budgets were not finally approved, the debt contracted with dependents will have to be paid by other formulas. The opposite would not be understood.
With or without Budgets, it is justice.
Luis Alberto Barriga Martín He is coordinator of studies of the State Association of Directors and Managers in Social Services.