The Ministry of Health will invest 94 million in Catalonia for high-tech medical equipment. These 94 million (out of a total of 800 million for the whole of Spain), which will be distributed between this year and the next, will allow the purchase of a hundred pieces of equipment for the different Catalan hospitals. The investment belongs to the government’s Inveat funds , whose objective is to modernize the technology of the national health system.
“Today we have seen in the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau the equipment that we are going to modernize. They are obsolete equipment , from 12 years ago”, explained this Thursday afternoon the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, in an attention to the media from the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. “We are going to improve the diagnostic capacity of hospitals. We will invest 800 million in 2021 and 2022. Of this money, 94 million will go to Catalonia, which will be used for high-tech equipment,” the minister explained.
Darias has visited Barcelona and, specifically, the Hospital Clínic to meet with the team that has developed CAR-T cell therapy, which consists of genetically modifying T lymphocytes (cells of the immune system), after drawing blood from the patient, to work against acute lymphoblastic leukemia and B-cell lymphoma. It is a revolutionary type of immunotherapy. The Clinic has managed to develop its own, which, since last February, has been financed by Health.
Along with Darias, was the ‘minister’ of Health, Josep Maria Argimon, who has highlighted the importance of developing an advanced therapy such as CAR-T “from the public sector and from the academic world.”
“A few months ago, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) approved the use of CAR-T therapy at the Clinic. At that time we agreed to hold this meeting to share the development of this therapy in this hospital,” he highlighted by his part the general director of the Clinic, Josep Maria Campistol.
No commitment to covid funds
Asked by journalists, the minister did not want to specify whether the Government plans to extend the Covid-19 Fund, as it did last year. “Spain made an extraordinary effort, the autonomous communities never had such great funding”, has limited himself to saying Darias.
In relation to the vaccination against the coronavirus of children under 12 years of age, it has asked to wait for the “trials” that are being carried out in this regard and has recalled that, before administering the drug in this population, it is necessary to wait for the approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). “We will be prepared to be able to inoculate it in the event that it is finally approved,” said Darias, who recalled that Spain is today “the leader in international vaccination.” “We are getting closer and closer to 90% of the target population,” he insisted.
Regarding the use of masks in schools (the ‘minister’ Argimon said days ago that, in Catalonia, schools will be the first place where they will be stopped when the pandemic is further mitigated), Darias has not wanted to get wet, but he has called to “continue to see how the covid-19 evolves” and to be aware of “how respiratory viruses behave” this fall and winter.
For his part, Argimon, when asked about the next location of the Clinic, has defended that, “before choosing the different locations”, a “more in-depth study” is needed. “We want it to be in the same location for a hundred years again, so there is no rush,” he said.