The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Spain and its devastating effects on health and health care have been felt across various domains, including the social, economic, and political spheres. Among the sectors hardest hit were the health system and its dedicated health professionals. Consequently, there has been a growing recognition among the Spanish population that the health system, often regarded as an efficient and high-quality system, requires strengthening and modernisation.
Spain held its national elections on July 23, 2023, in a context of high polarisation of public opinion and absence of clear majorities of parties in the formation of the government. In these coming weeks, political parties are negotiating a programme for the next legislature and if they do not reach an agreement the elections will be repeated in January, 2024. Against a background of heightened political tensions and eroding trust in politicians and health systems, we, a team of academics with expertise in public health and leaders from the broad political spectrum in Spain, engaged in a collaboration that had two purposes. First, we aimed to reimagine an equitable and people-centred health system prepared to be resilient to both current and future challenges. Second, we wanted to show that on such a crucial issue it was feasible to foster consensus among different political parties and between academics and policy makers, a necessary prerequisite for the success of a policy reform of the proposed nature.