One of the political successes of 2020 was to put mental health on the table. It ranged from a topic that was just discussed by stakeholders, to a global debate over changes in existing methods. But now it looks like the 2020 European Health Survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics, has collected the same problem: 3.6 million people in Spain do not have access to medical care.
Looking at regional data, the Valencian Community ranks above that number, where 556,500 people are unable to access oral oral medications, drugs or solutions, due to the high cost of this hospital, which is not included in the Social Security program. unless it is a serious problem, related to oral medicine or dental health.
Sexual orientation data show that women are the most affected: in total there are 319,000 women who are unable to take care of their dental health for financial reasons, compared to 237,300 men.
These figures surpass all other autonomous regions, followed by Catalonia with 548,100 people without access to appropriate medical care, followed by Madrid, with a population of 362,300 and Andalusia, with a population of 360,900.
In 2021, the Federal Government promised to increase the medical care of healthcare professionals in terms of dental care, but there has been no progress. For adults, Social Security dentists cover treatments such as illness or inflammation, including tooth extraction, trauma, minor surgery or major jaw disease. “Survival is covered, but not by beauty or oral practice; that is, a tooth is extracted if you have phlegmon or inflammation, but dental implants are not provided,” explains Marta Conca.
Dental practitioner Irene Gil notes that dental health “is not just about having a good mouth, it is working, on which speech and chewing depend.” “Properly covered, it will withstand a great deal of adverse conditions. But if it is not, it can cause stomach problems.”
For this reason, he argues, the need for Social Security to provide dental care should be greater, as it does not take into account existing problems such as simple cavities, which cost about 60 euros more frequently at dental clinics.
“If you do not treat the condition, it grows worse, damages the tooth and causes necrosis or pulpitis that causes bone loss, and causes phlegmon which may require medical attention,” Gil explains. For this reason he is appealing to the authorities to take action because, although the tooth has been closed by the National Health System, instead it has not. “If a person cannot fill, how can he implant?”
“We are constantly confronted with people who cannot afford to pay for medical treatment, and if they are older, they usually need the help of their sons and daughters,” explains Gil.
In the most serious cases, Marta Conca describes Solidarity Odontologists, a Valencia-based organization, working with people who need help but are not able to. They can be reached through development services where they will perform full prosthetics for free or at a low cost.
The same study also shows the number of people who could not afford to buy prescription drugs: 81,800 Valencians or 2% of the total population.
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