Government and Healthcare in Spain Spain, whose capital is Madrid, is a democratic country with centralized governments tradition supported by an autonomous structure. Currently, all the regions have independent powers. Autonomous communities operate through a system of ‘delegated powers’ such as health, education, police etc., whereas the central government retains authority for foreign policy and defence. Our country has 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonómicas), and two autonomous cities, all of them governed by local elected politicians. Some of these regions already have delegated ‘health competencies’ which largely operate through programmes that complement national laws. To manage these programmes, each region has established a healthcare institution, such as the Catalan Health Institute (Institut Català de la Salut) , Andalusian Health Service (Servicio Andaluz de Salud) etc.
Oral Healthcare Almost all oral healthcare in Spain is provided by private practitioners and patients usually pay the full cost of dental care. There is a small Public Dental Service, which operates in Primary Healthcare Units managed by each regional healthcare institution. This only provides emergency care such as extractions or the prescription of antibiotics, although patients may be referred to an oral surgeon if necessary.
Education and Registration
Year of data 2015 Number of public schools 12 Number of private schools 9 Student intake 1650 Number of graduate 1500 % of female 67% Length of course 5 yrsTo enter dental school students have first to pass a state school-leaving examination.
Dental schools are part of the universities, and not necessarily part of medical faculties.
Postgraduate and specialist trainingContinuing education. An extended system of evaluation of the continuing education systems is being developed, after encouragement by the government but it was not compulsory in 2016. The current system of continuing education is organised by the Spanish Dental Association (Consejo General de Dentistas) and Spanish Regional Dental Association (Colegios provinciales de Odontólogos y Estomatólogos). Some companies and particular initiatives offer programmes on continuing education, of different degrees of quality and control.Specialist Training. There is no specialist training in Spain.
DentistsUntil 1986, to be a dentist a qualification in medicine was first required – with dental training following, producing a “stomatologist”. Since then dentists could qualify with an EU recognised degree, and from 2001 no more stomatologists have been trained. In 2015 less than one third of the dentists practising in Spain are stomatologists.
Year of data 2015 Total registered 35426 In active practice 32686 Dentist to population ratio 1407 Percentage females 57%
Year of data 2015 Hygienists 14.600 Technicians 13.000 Assistants 39.000