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Spanish minister outlines content of forthcoming National Alzheimer’s Plan 2019-2023

Friday 19 April 2019

The Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo, has outlined the priority areas for the country’s National Alzheimer's Plan 2019-2023. In a press release, the Minister sets out some of the measures within the forthcoming strategy, which aims to improve diagnosis of the condition and support people with dementia and their carers. The plan aims to reduce the impact of the disease, promoting ability of the person with dementia to continue to live within their environment, implementing the necessary social and health responses and improving knowledge regarding the needs of people with dementia and their families. As part of this, early detection is a key area of focus, including improvements in the diagnostic capabilities of the system, as well as establishing the promotion of research on the origin, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. In addition, there are proposals to develop information and awareness programmes for health professionals, specifically around signs and symptoms of the disease.

In relation to the economic and social impact of the condition, the plan will include measures to support family caregivers through protection systems, such as social security, employment or housing. Included within this are measures such as the training of primary care professionals to detect overload and stress situations of family caregivers. The plan further considers the need to involve all stakeholders and society in responding to the condition, aiming to remove stigma and exclusion of persons with dementia in society. The plan establishes four lines of action:

  • Research on the determinants of the disease.
  • Development of health promotion policies, as well as progress in the early diagnosis and the selection of the most appropriate treatments.
  • Improvement in services, supports and benefits.
  • Raising awareness and improving societal attitudes in relation to dementia.

The plan follows the guidelines of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017-2025. It also respects the statement of the European Parliament on the priorities in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. The Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare is in the process of finalising the document, although no timescale for publication has been announced.The full statement can be found here: http://www.mscbs.gob.es/gabinete/notasPrensa.do?id=4567

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