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National Dementia Strategies

July 2016: Spanish government approves national strategy for neurodegenerative diseases 

In July 2016, the Spanish government officially approved the "Estrategia Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas del SNS", a national strategy that covers all neurodegenerative diseases.

The text of the strategy (in Spanish) can be seen here or downloaded below.

13 April 2016: Spanish Ministry approves first national strategy for neurodegenerative diseases, including AD

On 13 April 2016, the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality in Spain approved the country’s first National Health System strategy for Neurodegenerative Diseases (NDs). The main lines of action in the new Strategy are to improve diagnosis, give personal attention to patients and establish programs that facilitate respite for those who care for those affected by NDs.

In his speech, the Minister stressed the importance of adopting this Strategy, as the incidence of NDs is increasing due to an aging population. Although there are over 600 such pathologies, the main diseases because of their high prevalence and severity, are Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's, Huntington's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). According to different prevalence studies regarding these and other diseases, it is estimated that around a million Spaniards may be living with an ND.

The first line of the Strategy refers to preventing disease and improving early diagnosis, for which states must develop processes for referring patients to hospital care from health centres and monitoring programmes for people at high risk, genetically.

Second in the Strategy is care for people with NDs. It determines that the communities should develop plans that integrate social and health care. It is also anticipated to create an individualised plan of care for each person diagnosed with an ND.

This new Strategy also puts special emphasis on community carers and respite programmes established to facilitate relaxation, as well as emotional support programmes such as self-care training activities (stress management, relaxation, etc.).

Other strategic areas addressed by the Strategy are increasing awareness of NDs to reduce stigma, training professionals and promoting research in areas such as epidemiological studies, risk factors, new drug therapies or non-drug therapies. Several online resources for training for professionals and citizens to encourage the promotion of a healthy lifestyle have also been developed.

During the meeting, the Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality Alfonso Alonso specifically referred to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) among others NDs. CEAFA, the Spanish Alzheimer association very much welcomes this strategy and expects some future developments specific to dementia.

30 October 2013: CEAFA and Sanitas present a policy proposal to the Spanish Parliament

On 30 October, Spain's CEAFA and the Sanitas Foundation presented a proposal for a national dementia policy to the Committee on Health and Social Services of the Spanish House of Representatives.

Both organisations share the goal of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia becoming a public health priority at the national and international levels.

Mr Koldo Aulestia, President of CEAFA, said: "Alzheimer's is more than just a disease; the figures show that it has become a real social and health problem that affects all strata of society, extending its effects not only on individuals but also on family caregivers."

His sentiment were echoed by Mr David Pérez de Ciriza, Director of Sustainability and Institutional Relations of Sanitas, who added: "The focus of state policy and the creation of a National Dementia Plan ensures that health and social systems are adequately structured and equipped to ensure high quality care that allows people live well with dementia today and in the future."



Last Updated: Monday 01 August 2016