DIPLOCAT organises a visit to Barcelona for French experts in social protection and health

Jointly with the Institut des Hautes Études de Protection Sociale (IHEPS)

From the eighth to the tenth of June, a group of 12 people visited Barcelona, including alumni from the IHEPS and high-level leaders from all sectors of French civil society: political representatives, senior officials, trade union leaders, corporate directors of human resources, journalists, lawyers, doctors, leaders and representatives of the French Mutualité, among others, interested in learning about the Catalan public health system and public social protection policies.

The Institute for Higher Studies in Social Protection (IHEPS) was founded in 2009 on the initiative of the French ministries responsible for social affairs, labour, health and the budget, with the collaboration of Social Security, the National School of Social Security (EN3S) and the group of public and private entities dedicated to social protection in France. The Institute's mission is to promote the dissemination of knowledge and expose the importance of the culture of social protection to opinion leaders, with the aim of fuelling public debate on this topic.

DIPLOCAT worked together with the IHEPS alumni association to organise this visit. The welcome ceremony was attended by the Minister of Foreign Action and Open Government, Victòria Alsina, the Consul General of France in Barcelona, Olivier Ramadour, and the Secretary General of DIPLOCAT, Laura Foraster i Lloret.

During the stay in Barcelona, several university professors spoke with the IHEPS group of specialists about the history and organisation of the political system and the distribution of powers in Catalonia, as well as the budget and funding of the Catalan public health system. They were also able to discuss the Essential project of the Agency for Health Quality and Evaluation of Catalonia, which aims to avoid practices that do not add value to citizens' lives and therefore do not improve the quality of health care. They entered the decentralised health system and primary care centres, both from a theoretical point of view, with the discussion with the strategic director for Primary Care of the Department of Health, and from a practical point of view, with the visit to a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The social protection aspect of the visit was addressed with a working session focused on two public policies deployed by the Catalan government and on the impact they have on Catalan society. On the one hand, the functions deployed by the Guaranteed Citizenship Income Management Service and its benefits (equivalent to the Revenu de solidarité active in France) and, on the other hand, the Catalan strategy for the reception and inclusion of children and young solo immigrants were discussed. The working session was attended by the Board of the Third Social Sector of Catalonia.

In addition, the group of French specialists met with the Aprop Emergency housing program of the Barcelona City Council, which promotes the construction of temporary buildings (maximum 5 years) consisting of community fixtures on the ground floor, one-bedroom and two-bedroom homes on upper floors and a green roof. These buildings have been designed in accordance with modular technology by reusing "last trip" marine containers, fully dockable in any configuration, with easy assembly, disassembly and transfer to another site or reuse as building elements in definitive works. The visit to the Aprop centres just being built in Les Glòries complemented the talk with the municipal managers on the construction of the accommodations and the subsequent management and awarding from the Barcelona City Council Social Services departments.