Spanish government launches national plan to tackle dementia

15 October 2019 – It was today announced by the Spanish Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare that they had adopted a national dementia plan. The National Alzheimer's Plan 2019-2023 will be a crucial support for the Spanish population affected by dementia now and in the future. The plan is the 33rd to be adopted globally and includes key targets for improving dementia awareness; person-centred health and social care; services, supports and benefits; and promotion of research, innovation and knowledge.

A key focus of the plan is improving diagnostic capacities of the health system, which is crucial for improved access to services, and for reaching the WHO target of a diagnostic rate of 50% of those affected.  

Currently more than 700,000 people over the age of 40 living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, a number which is forecast to more than double to 2 million by 2050.

ADI’s Chief Executive Paola Barbarino said: “This is a very important moment for Spain and for Europe. CEAFA has been working incredibly hard to bring together different ministries and regional entities to get to this point. A national plan for Spain is the only way to guarantee a better life for people living with dementia and their families and we are proud of their success today.”

Jesús Rodrigo, Executive Director of the Spanish Confederation of Alzheimer's and other Dementias (CEAFA), said: “The National Alzheimer's Plan 2019-2023 is an important milestone for the 700,000 people living with dementia in Spain, as well as for their families and carers. We will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, as well as the State Dementia Group and the General Secretariat of Health, to ensure the plan achieves its objectives and achieves real, measurable progress for those affected by dementia in Spain.”

National dementia plans remain the single most powerful tool to transform dementia care and support people living with dementia and their carers. The adoption of a Global plan on dementia by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2017 targets 146 of the 194 Member States to develop a national response to dementia by 2025. Currently the global response is just over 20% of the target and the timely launch of the Spanish plan should stimulate others to follow suit.