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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectorial cooperation


Public Administration in Spain consists of three levels among which powers are distributed: State Administration (Government), Autonomous Administration (Autonomous Communities) and Local Administration (Municipalities and Provinces) (Art.148, 149 and 150 of the Spanish Constitution).

Main actors:

Government Structure in the area of Health

The Ministry of Health is in charge of proposing and implementing government policy on health, pharmacy, nutrition and assisted reproduction, health planning, prevention and care, including the management of data, technology and health professions and the National Plan on Drugs, as well as exercising the powers of the General State Administration to guarantee citizens the right to health protection.

This Ministry presides over the State Foundation for Health, Childhood and Social Welfare (CSAI) whose functions are the proposal and implementation of government policy on social cohesion and inclusion, family, child protection and care for dependent or disabled persons and equality, as well as the fight against all types of discrimination and the fight against gender violence.


General distribution of responsabilities:

The Autonomous Communities are responsible for the legislative development and application in matters of health and hygiene, promotion, prevention and restoration of health; and hospital coordination in general, including Social Security. The Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) is the permanent body for coordination, cooperation, communication and information on health matters between the General State Administration and the Autonomous Communities.

The Local Administration focuses on the Management of Health Areas and sanitary control for sanitation, community hygiene, cleaning of buildings and areas of activity, control of public centers or services, quality of transport and consumer goods.


Main actors:

Government Structure in the area of Derechos Sociales y Agenda 2030

The Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 is responsible for proposing and executing the Government's policy on social rights and welfare, family, child protection, social cohesion and care for dependent persons, persons with disabilities, adolescents and youth, as well as animal protection, contact with third sector entities and the promotion of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

The General Directorate for the Rights of Children and Adolescents belongs to this Ministry and its main functions, which it carries out supported by the General Sub-Directorate for Childhood and Adolescence Policies and in cooperation with the Autonomous Communities, are:

- The promotion, analysis, elaboration, coordination and follow-up of the programs of action in the field of social services of primary care, of social inclusion, of protection and promotion of families and childhood, and of prevention of the difficult situations or social conflict.

- Promoting cooperation with non-governmental organizations in the fields of social action programs, social inclusion, gypsy population, families and children.

- The promotion and development of social volunteering; among others.

Within this Ministry there is also the Youth Institute (INJUVE), with a specific line of action on Coexistence and Health.


Main actors:

The Ministry of Culture and Sports is in charge of proposal and execution of the Government's policy on sports matters. The High Council of Sports (CSD) is the regulatory body of sport at the state level, dependent of the MECD. As an autonomous body it has the functions of the General Administration of the state in sports matters. The CSD has a coordinating role, focused on the programming, technical direction and execution of the games and competitions of national or international nature.


General distribution of responsabilities:

Each Autonomous Community has its own territorial body for the management and promotion of sport responsible for organizing school competitions of a territorial, regional or local nature; to promote the creation of groups for the development of school sport and to manage the granting of aid to create and maintain teams and for sports activities in schools.

In turn, the Autonomous Communities are in charge of coordinating with the local Administrations (municipalities, regions, etc.) in the promotion and diffusion of the physical culture and sport. The local Administrations are actively involved in the programming of the education, in the monitoring of the fulfillment of the compulsory schooling and in the coordination of the sports facilities.


Cross-sectorial cooperation

Each of these Ministries has an Inter-territorial Commission that allows for coordinated cooperation between the Autonomous Communities and the General State Administration. There is also an Institutional Cooperation Agency in charge of coordinating cooperation between the Public Administrations with competencies in food safety and nutrition. The Youth Institute also collaborates closely with other bodies such as the Interministerial Commission for Youth (Ministry of Equality), the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (municipal level), the Interterritorial Youth Council or the Spanish Youth Council (CJE) (currently private). The State Foundation for Health, Childhood and Social Welfare (CSAI). It is also made up of five departments: Health; Presidency; Social Rights and Agenda 2030; Foreign Affairs; European Union and Cooperation; and Science and Innovation.

In addition, taking into account that both health and youth are considered cross-cutting elements, there are inter-ministerial collaborations and collaborations with other agencies to address these issues. As a result of a participatory process in which 19 ministries, 6 scientific societies and associations, the 17 Autonomous Communities of the State and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces have collaborated, the first national Public Health Strategy for the year 2022 has been developed. It has a cross-cutting and integrative approach that focuses on working on the determinants of health in all public policies unifying its governance and aligns with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Its lines of action include promoting healthy, safe and sustainable educational environments and promoting active childhood and adolescence.