Policy Instrument Addressed

Aligned with Europe's 2020 Strategy and the Basque Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS3), the Basque Country ERDF Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 aims to achieve various objectives, with a particular focus on the health sector, including active aging and healthy living. The Provincial Council of Bizkaia's Action Plan supports the ROP actions and the ESF OP objectives by promoting economic and social cohesion through the implementation of an innovative service model. 

The model includes the "etxeTIC" support day center with a pioneering remote staying at home support service, which allows dependent individuals to prolong their stay at home, thereby avoiding or delaying institutionalization. These are conventional day centers that provide support to people in situations of dependency, but with the added innovative service of using technology to monitor and assist both the dependent individuals and their caregivers, allowing them to remain in their homes for as long as possible, should they prefer it. It is important to note that this expands the capacity to provide support, from the 50-60 individuals that could be supported in a traditional manner to the 750 households (approximately 1,500 individuals) that can be attended to with this model.

Policy Change Desired

The Provincial Council of Bizkaia's Action Plan is implementing the knowledge shared in the framework of EU SHAFE. This will enable the council to contribute to the implementation of an updated model that is aligned with current best practices. Shared learning in the framework of the EU_SHAFE project, and more particularly the exchanged of Good Practices (GP), has served to reinforce the commitment to a service that promotes the use of TIC to support home care.

The ERDF programme focuses on seven main areas, with two of them being particularly relevant to this action - strengthening research, technological development and innovation; and enhancing use and access to quality information and communication technologies. With the authority to enact regulations governing services and benefits provided within its jurisdiction, the Government of Biscay is proud to introduce the Foral Decree of the etxeTIC HOME Support Service to support the use of digital technology for home-based care services.

Territorial Impact

The etxeTIC Bilbao service has been expanded with the opening of etxeTIC Etxebarri, and now more than 430 households benefit from it. The council plans to open three additional etxeTIC facilities across the Region of Bizkaia. The launch of the etxeTIC center in Zalla is scheduled for June of this year, which will serve the entire Enkarterri region and future etxeTIC centers in Basauri and Mungia are currently under construction.

By expanding the reach of the etxeTIC facilities, the council hopes to promote greater economic and social cohesion in the region, while also improving the quality of life for the elderly and dependent population. With the implementation of this updated model, the council is taking a proactive approach to addressing the challenges associated with an aging population, while also supporting the goals of Europe's 2020 Strategy and the Basque Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS3).

In addition to its primary goals of supporting active aging and healthy living, the implementation of this project will also facilitate the construction of channels of communication with the Basque Government's Department of Health, which is responsible for health and medical treatment. Through this new cooperation, the benefits of the etxeTIC service will extend beyond the local level, providing assistance to the health system as a whole. This could include reducing attendance rates in emergency services and hospital admissions, among other benefits.

By leveraging this new cooperation, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia hopes to make a meaningful impact on the healthcare landscape in the region. By reducing the burden on emergency services and hospitals, the council aims to promote more efficient and effective healthcare delivery, while also improving the quality of life for dependent individuals and their families.