News Presidency

The President values the commitment, involvement and effort of Osakidetza professionals on its 40th anniversary

2023 November 8
  •  He highlights its work in making the Basque Health Service a benchmark in healthcare over the last four decades
  • Accompanied by the Regional Minister of Health, Gotzone Sagardui, and the General Director of Osakidetza, Rosa Pérez, the President today presided over the main event of the commemorative day of the 40th anniversary of Osakidetza, at the Europa Conference Centre in Vitoria-Gasteiz.
  • At the meeting, which brought together more than 600 people, a tribute was paid to former advisers, former directors and workers who have been part of Osakidetza since 1983

At the ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary of Osakidetza, held this morning at the Europa Conference Centre in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the President, Iñigo Urkullu, stressed that the Basque Health Service is a solid and fundamental basis for public services in the Basque Country. “Osakidetza was born from the aspiration of a country. Of the ambition of the Basque citizenship. From the dream of having public services that would respond to our needs. Today, 40 years later, we can affirm that this aspiration has become a reality.”

The conference, which brought together more than 600 people, including former ministers, directors, authorities — representatives of the government, parliament, provincial and local councils and Osakidetza professionals — aimed to highlight the value of what Osakidetza has been, is and intends to be in the future. To this end, there was an assessment of the road travelled, together with an act of recognition in which the former directors, former managers and workers who have been part of Osakidetza during these four decades took part. The best innovative projects and ideas for improvement carried out by Osakidetza professionals were presented as a sample of the present and future activity of the Organization.

In his speech, the President pointed out the challenges that Osakidetza is going to face in the management of citizens' health. “We face the challenge of adapting Osakidetza to respond to new demands. We will. We will achieve this step by step because our desire is to continue to enjoy a universal and quality public service.” In this sense, Urkullu stated that: “we have a clear objective for our society: that Osakidetza continues to be one of the best public health services in the world. We will continue to work every day to achieve this.”

He also highlighted the effort and work of the thousands of professionals who have made possible the reality that Osakidetza is today. “Today we thank you for the effort you have made throughout these four decades. Without your commitment, this dream would never have become a reality. On behalf of Basque society, thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

For her part, the Regional Minister of Health, Gotzone Sagardui, also referred to the Organization's professionals in her speech at the commemorative ceremony, as key players in reaching the major milestones that have consolidated the Basque Health Service as a benchmark healthcare system.  “Where we come from, where we are and where we set our future. That brings us together today.”

Sagardui recalled the historical moment of the creation of the Basque Health System, highlighting the value of the human capital that Osakidetza has always relied on. “There are thousands and thousands of you who have dedicated time in your lives to care for others from this organization. We are here today, in Gasteiz, where Osakidetza was formally created, representing many other people to whom I would like to extend our recognition and thanks.” “Because Osakidetza,” she added, “being a public health service, which provides a universal service, was, is and will be one of the pillars of our welfare model.”

Showcase of best practices in healthcare and ideas for improvement in Osakidetza

After the institutional act of recognition, the second part of the day was led by Osakidetza professionals who presented a sample of the best practices in healthcare, which served as an overview of the innovative initiatives and experiences that are currently being carried out in the different Osakidetza service organisations. In addition, there was also the presentation of the best ideas for contributing to improvement selected through Parte Hartu, a corporate project for the selection of suggestions and ideas for improvement in Osakidetza.

The Director General of Osakidetza, Rosa Perez, closed the commemorative day of the 40th anniversary of Osakidetza. To this end, she wished to thank all those who have made it possible for Osakidetza to celebrate 40 years of life, all the professionals, managers, those responsible for Osakidetza, the Basque Government, and all the citizens for their trust and support.

The farewell to the commemorative day was given by the Kantakidetza Choir, which has more than 10 years of experience and is made up of public health professionals in Guipuzkoa.

40 years of Osakidetza

Osakidetza has come a long way throughout its 40 years of history, as a result of the Basque Government's firm commitment to the development of our institutions.

The evolution of the Basque Health Service is fruit of rigorous management that has allowed smooth progress, increasing resources and services progressively over the last four decades. From its beginnings in May 1983, when it was a small organization with 3 hospitals, 10 health centres and a dispensary, it had a staff of 2,090 professionals and its activity was limited to 374 admissions, 22,081 hospital stays, 958 outpatient consultations and a budget of 2.929 billion pesetas.

Currently, Osakidetza is a Health Service that brings together 11 acute care hospitals, 3 medium and long stay hospitals and 4 mental health hospitals, and has a structural staff of 30,000 professionals, 65% of whom are women. In Primary Health Care, it has 136 health centres and 180 clinics in operation. In addition, it has implemented global activity, during 2022, 5,352 beds were available, 61,926 surgical operations were performed annually, more than 62.7 million consultations were made and 1,124,034 emergencies were attended in the hospitals of the network.

With an annual budget for 2024 of 4.896 billion euros and an average expenditure per inhabitant of 2,229 euros, the great transformation of Osakidetza is the result not only of 40 years of permanent evolution but also of the determined and growing support of the Basque Government to make Osakidetza one of the benchmarks of public service in the Basque Country, which makes it possible to maintain an average life expectancy of 83.6 years in a population of 2.1 million inhabitants.

These are some of the principal milestones that mark the evolution of Osakidetza and shape it into the Basque Health Service we know today:

1983 On May 19, 1983, the Basque Parliament passed the Law creating Osakidetza to provide comprehensive health care to all Basques. Osakidetza was born with a universal service vocation.

1984 Integration into Osakidetza of the first health centres: hospitals of Santa Marina, Amara, Leza, Santiago Apostol, Provincial de Gipuzkoa, Gorliz, the psychiatric hospitals of Zamudio, Bermeo, Zaldibar and Araba, and mental health centres, coming from the three Provincial Councils.

1987 Integration of the Alto Deba Hospital in Arrasate. Implementation of the AIDS Prevention and Control programme.

1988 Transfer and integration of Insalud health centres and personnel: outpatient clinics, hospitals (Cruces, Aranzazu, Txagorritxu, Galdakao, San Eloy and Zumarraga) and university nursing school in Araba, with more than 14,000 professionals in total. Introduction of the health card (TIS), the first State health card. First flu vaccination campaign in the Basque Country.

1990 Creation of the Children's Dental Plan (PADI)

1992 Opening of the Mendaro hospital. Integration of Basurto Hospital. Creation of the transplant coordination team.

1995 Implementation of breast cancer screening for women between 50 and 60 years of age.

2001 Creation of the Donostia Hospital, through the integration of the Aránzazu, Gipuzkoa and Amara hospitals.

2002 Creation of the Basque Centre for Transfusion and Human Tissue. Development of the e-Osabide computerised assistance system. Constitution of the Basque Foundation for Health Innovation and Research (BIOEF).

2008 Beginning of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (PCCR). Creation of Biodonostia and Biocruces as health research institutes.

2013 Implementation of electronic prescriptions.

2014 Clinical Patient Safety Strategy. Incorporation of a medical helicopter.

2016 Inauguration of the Alfredo Espinosa Hospital, Urduliz. Osabide global convergence of clinical history in Primary and Specialised Care.

2020 Pandemic response and initiation of antiviral vaccination for the entire population.

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    2023 November 9

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    @osakidetzaEJGV ren 40. urteurrenean / En el 40 aniversario de OSAKIDETZA. El Lehendakari pone en valor el compromiso, la implicación y el esfuerzo de los y las profesionales de Osakidetza en s...

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