Barcelona MAR Health Park Consortium

On 28 January 2010, the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council approved the creation of the Barcelona MAR Health Park Consortium. This new body has replaced the Municipal Healthcare Institute (IMAS), created in 1983, in providing public healthcare services, establishing a new legal governance model as a consortium in which the Catalan Government assumes 60% and the City Council 40% of representation. This resolution provides a response for the provisions set forth in the General Healthcare Law and the Healthcare Planning Law of Catalonia. The resolution establishes that the Ministry of Health will hold competences with respect to health in Catalonia and that it must guarantee both the quality of the public healthcare network and the stability of governing and management bodies for all healthcare centres and devices.

The MAR Health Park is a large and complete services organization on the Barcelona coast. It brings together one of the most dynamic hubs of healthcare knowledge, education and research in the city.

The characteristic and, in parallel, differentiating element that sets it apart from other similar healthcare institutes, is the diversity of its portfolio of healthcare services, encompassing all levels of healthcare services: acute diseases, social-public health, mental health and primary care. The plurality of management formulas and the development of technological and strategic alliances with other centres in the city and in Catalonia, grant it a distinguished role in fostering entrepreneurial business policies in the healthcare sector.

The Mar Hospital is the main healthcare facility at the institute, with a complete range of healthcare and tertiary services, in parallel with indispensable technological innovations that assure that only the most advanced practices are undertaken. All combined with a great vision of community service to its reference population residing in coastal neighbourhoods of Barcelona (Ciutat Vella and Sant Martí).

With respect to other healthcare facilities, the Esperança Hospital merits mention, acting as a complementary centre to the Mar Hospital, while social and mental healthcare services are concentrated at the Forum Centre. The Dr Emili Mira Centre was added to the institution on 1 February 2010, specializing in mental health care.

Low-complexity emergency services are also offered at the Peracamps Centre and community programmes are developed, such as sexual and reproductive health assistance, early breast cancer detection and coordinated registration between its hospitals and primary care facilities.

Research activities are deployed through IMIM, a centre that is closely connected to the Mar Hospital, a domestic and international reference in biomedical and health sciences research. It develops high-level competitive research programmes with the participation of domestic and international researchers and clinical doctors.

Training and teaching are the institutional mainstays that go hand in hand with healthcare and research tasks. In this regard, the new medicine degree programmes merit mention, arising from agreements with the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), shaping an innovative inter-university model, ascribed to the European Space for Higher Education. University education has benefited from over 30 years of expertise, specifically through the UAB’s Medical Education Unit, the UPF’s Human Biology studies and the Mar School University Nursing Studies, ascribed to the UPF. The extensive educational offering is rounded out with the Professional Healthcare Training given at the Bonanova School, a reference centre of the network for the healthcare and social-public health sector with the MIR programme, which teaches almost all medical and surgical specializations.

All in all, it is the only health park in Barcelona with a complete market perspective, with its own style and educational facilities that are integrated with a cross-speciality focus, with the knowledge and will to share and improve it as its main asset and one that is established as a powerful knowledge cluster.

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