Health care for people with intellectual disability in Spain

AbstractWe describe the healthcare system for people with intellectual disability (ID) in Spain. First, we provide general population statistics before focusing on the most recent prevalence data related to people with disability in general, and with ID in particular. We also discuss how health care is organized. Most of the Spanish population is covered by the public healthcare system, which is structured into primary care (first‐level health services; easily accessible and capable of tackling the most common ailments) and specialized care (second‐level health services; comprising the most complex and costly diagnostic and therapeutic resources). We then explain Spain’s primary legislation that promotes the rights of people with disabilities, highlighting the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which is enshrined in the Spanish General Law on the Rights of People with Disabilities and their Social Inclusion (Royal Legislative Decree 1/2013). Second, we describe the organization of Spanish disability support and health services, whose regulation is highly complex given that the autonomous regions set their own rules about coverage, services, and financing. Third, we present some recent studies that allow a better understanding of health care for people with ID in Spain, including a summary of the ongoing #Rights4MeToo project. We report specific data on the right to habilitation/rehabilitation. People with ID and professionals providing them with supports agreed that the most problematic aspects of health care for people with ID were the lack of: coordination across services, user‐friendly information to maintain or improve their health, psychological treatments, preventive medical check‐ups, and knowledge about disability among health professionals. There is a need to give people with ID priority access to services, reduce waiting times, increase the length of medical appointments, and create protocols and prevention campaigns targeting them.

Otros Autores

A. Monsalve, M. L. Morán, P. Pérez Curiel, P. Solís


Gómez, Morán, Solís, Pérez-Curiel, Monsalve, & Navas. (2023). Health care for people with intellectual disability in Spain. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities.

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