Every 12 minutes a dependent dies without receiving the service contemplated by the law

The dependency system is leaking.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
17 March 2023 Friday 06:49
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Every 12 minutes a dependent dies without receiving the service contemplated by the law

The dependency system is leaking. The intentions of the political class to unblock the collapsed dependency system through the Shock Plan agreed between the Government and the autonomous communities are not working. Yes, the waiting lists to be evaluated or to access services have been lowered, but because many people die waiting for a right contemplated by law. During 2022, 45,360 people died on the dependency's waiting lists, one every 12 minutes, the majority of whom were women over 80 years of age. A simply shameful number.

These are some of the data from the XXIII Opinion of the State Observatory of the Dependency, prepared by the State Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, which have denounced that the increase in the General State Budgets in the last three years (3,644 million euros) has not served to alleviate the situation of dependency, among other issues, because ten communities "have made cash" and have reduced their dependency budgets.

They are: Aragón, Canarias, Castilla y León, Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura, Galicia, Region of Murcia, Foral Community of Navarra, Basque Country and La Rioja.

At the beginning of this year 2023, the number of people on the waiting list (both waiting to be assessed and to receive the service) rises to 353,965, barely 8,000 less than last year despite this commitment made in the plan of shock. This entity calculates that at this rate, it would take 35 years to end that waiting list without including any other dependents.

44.6% of the people who have already been assessed but who are still waiting to receive a service or benefit are grade III or II dependents, that is, they need extensive and continuous support.

These data are partly explained by the "negligence" and "bureaucracy" established by the autonomous communities to facilitate access to the system for dependents. Proof of this is that the average delay from when the dependency assessment is requested and the benefit is received is 344 days.

A year to be treated is merciless, because many of these people do not have that time," says the head of this entity, José Manuel Ramírez.

Added to this panorama is the increasingly deficient care for the elderly, who receive "low cost" services, in the words of Ramírez. Telecare is still not widespread, as proposed in the shock plan, and home care is very limited.

Home Help presents average hourly intensities of 33.45 hours per month. The most dependent (grade III) are assisted an average of 57.1 hours per month, barely two and a half hours a day from Monday to Friday. "Something clearly insufficient if we understand that they are people who need support permanently," says Ramírez.

And family members are still "used" for care, but at minimal cost. The financial benefits for family care have an average monthly amount of 234.96 euros (currently received by 517,000 people). Those in grade III receive 334.9 euros per month to care for these dependents almost 24 hours a day.