However, in recent years the situation has dramatically changed. Clinics and hospitals are unable to cope with patient stream; the quality of services has significantly dropped now. And, as a result, a professional medical care has become available to few people and at extra cost.
At some point the situation reached the critical point – it was extremely difficult to get the compensation in the event of death even suing out. The government paid no attention to this problem. Therefore, many Spaniards chose alternative options. It could not have been a better time for many private insurance companies to come along with the contracts as good as those offered by the state insurance. To the present moment a significant part of Spanish people (six million - about 12 percent of the country's population) use the private insurance services.
However, this has not immediately solved all the problems. Bureaucratic red tape makes people wait for the money due for years. To be sure, the Spanish are generous with the payments, especially when it comes to large-scale catastrophes. One of the largest compensations was assigned to the victims of the explosion of four commuter trains in 2004. The court ordered to pay 400 thousand euros to every family that lost a closed one, and each victim was assigned 200 thousand.
The amount of compensation in smaller accidents is much more modest: from six thousand euros in the event of death and twelve thousand if a person is seriously injured or disabled. Nevertheless, the problem with delaying the "day of reckoning" by insurers, both public and private, is still the issue of the day. The indignation with such a situation was brewing and led to the tragic consequences. In the country the number of suicides among male has sharply increased (four thousand cases recorded as of 2009) over the past five years. According to experts, most of these suicides were committed precisely to get insurance reimbursement.
This terrible trend attracted government’s attention; and a new government structure, the Insurance Compensation Consortium, was established in the country. The aim of the organization is to gradually monitor the insurance payouts, so they come into the victims’ hands within the shortest possible time. It is prematurely to say if Spain, with the help of the new institution, manages to cope with the problems of the insured. After all, the consortium can easily become another exertion of bureaucratic outrage. And the state institution structure is fully promoting that. For instance, only one of the representative bodies can accept a complaint about unpaid compensation, a person cannot address it to the central office.
Spanish insurers also suggest to think about the possibility of natural disasters and terrorist acts well in advance. Unfortunately, they have not come up with insurance against bureaucracy yet.
Photo per website: newtravel.by, madrid.portalglobus.ru