In 2013, with the aim of significantly reducing public spending, Madrid’s Regional Government launched a project granting private companies concessions for providing the public service of specialized medical attention at 6 hospitals belonging to Madrid’s Health System. One of Madrid’s physicians’ associations, Asociación de Facultativos Especialistas de Madrid (AFEM), requested the services of The Firm for contesting both the Law authorizing these concessions and the contracts subject to the tender process.
Given the controversies arising in public opinion and the lack of knowledge on a project that owes its complexity to its economic importance and, specifically, to its impact on a public service that is essential for the people, a strategy was designed based on the works of a multidisciplinary team made up of physicians and lawyers, and the drafting and publishing of two Reports detailing the contents of the proposed measures, the lack of any real public spending savings and the violation of principles that are essential to our constitutional, public health and public procurement systems.
Thanks to the exhaustively documented works conducted for producing this Reports, AFEM became the first association to, through different appeals, contest before the Courts the tender processes for granting these 6 hospital concessions, for a ten year period and for an amount of €5 billion, requesting as injunctive relief the suspension of the execution of these contracts.
Through court Order of September 2, 2013, entered in a process for the protection of fundamental rights of the individual, Madrid’s No.4 Court for Contentious Administrative Proceedings (JUR 2013\287176) resolved the suspension of all contracts; as confirmed by the subsequent court Order of September 11, 2013, entered by Madrid’s Superior Court of Justice Contentious Administrative Chamber (JUR 2013\299611). Once the Superior Court dismissed the appeals and confirmed the suspension decreed by court Order of January 27, 2014 (RJCA 2014\219), the Government decided to abandon the project.
The proposals for granting a concession on specialized health attention at public hospitals have not been included again in a political program and they’re no longer even a subject for consideration in public debates on our Public Health System. Both the Reports and Court decisions have been analyzed in scientific magazines and are a topic of study at Medical and Law Schools.