Public hospitals charging for private rooms in Spain

Some public hospitals in Catalonia are beginning to sell private rooms to patients and charging visitors for the use of reclining chairs during their vigils.

Austerity measures imposed on the Catalan health sector by the regional government of Artur Mas have led to hospitals looking for new ways to generate income.

 The prestigious Clinic Hospital in Barcelona says that the measure is ‘voluntary,’ and subject to there being ‘spare beds available.’ The hospital’s directors said that most of these rooms are used for maternity but labour unions have described the move as ‘discriminatory,’ and a case of providing services only ‘for those that can afford them.’

Only eight of the 62 public centres in the region are controlled by the Generalitat which allows the rest to operate fairly freely.

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