doxa.comunicación | 30, pp. 187-210 | 189

January-June of 2020

Graciela Lamouret Colom and María Teresa García Nieto

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

public hospitals depend on the Department of Health, to which they report, and they are necessarily involved with its administrators. Thus, although hospital authorities in the Community of Madrid have autonomy to take certain actions and to make certain decisions, it is the regional hierarchic structure that sets the general lines of action, which include the Health Care Humanisation Plan.

In this paper we aim to study the communication elements and processes that are being implemented as part of the aforementioned Humanisation Plan in several hospitals in the Community of Madrid that are part of the public hospital network of this Community and, therefore, of the Spanish public health sector.

The Spanish healthcare system stands out for its prestige, as is stated in international rankings regarding the quality of healthcare that place it among the best in the world (Lancet, 2018). Also, the healthcare system has a high approval rating by the Spanish population, as reflected in the Health Barometer of the Sociological Research Centre [Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas, CIS] of 2018, which includes the following data regarding the population throughout the national territory:

68.3 percent of Spanish citizens rate the public healthcare system as good or very good: 47.1 percent replied “good, but some changes are necessary”; and 21.2 percent replied “very good”.

When asked about where they would go if they were to require medical assistance (for the interviewee or for a relative), if they could choose, 68.2 percent of those questioned would go to the public system.

And in the event of having to be inpatients in a hospital, 67 percent would prefer the public system, and only 26.3 percent would choose private health care.

Regarding the Community of Madrid, the aforementioned Health Barometer of the CIS states:

48.9 percent of Madrid residents rate the health care system as good, with some changes being necessary.

26.2 percent thinks some changes are important, although they acknowledge the proper functioning of specific procedures.

And 3.9 percent state the need to redesign the whole public health care system due to its bad functioning.

And the residents of this Community point out the main issues of its health care system:

First and foremost, waiting lists (85.7 percent).

In the second place, congestions at emergency wards in hospitals (75.8 percent).

And 15.1 percent of Madrid residents consider that the main issue is the treatment received by medical professio-nals, while the national average for this item reaches 19.7 percent (CIS, 2018).