Thousands of health workers in Spain’s capital, Madrid, hit the streets on Sunday (15 January) to protest towards the conservative regional authorities for the alleged “destruction” of the general public health system.
As many as 30,000 protesters gathered for the demonstration, as per a regional authorities spokesman, Reuters reported.
Some sporting white coats chanted: “Cutting public health is criminal”. Others carried indicators with slogans studying “SOS Public Healthcare” and “Stop Privatization”, based on Associated Press (AP).
The demonstration comes months after public health workers and their supporters staged a protest in Madrid final November. It was dubbed the ‘white tidal wave’ on account of the white medical coats worn by the protesters.
Why is Madrid seeing a collection of walkouts and protests by health workers? What is the regional authorities’s stance? Let’s take a better look.
Protesting health workers have accused the regional authorities, led by Isabel Ayuso, of dismantling public health providers.
They declare that the Popular Party authorities in Madrid has decreased the funding of the general public health care system which has led to a extreme paucity of assets and employees in public hospitals, as per Indian Express.
The unions that organized Sunday’s protest stated that regardless that Madrid has the best per capita revenue, it shells out the “least amount per capita on primary health care of any Spanish region”, reported AP.
Protesters have additionally alleged that the regional authorities is favouring non-public health suppliers.
The unions declare that for each two euros spent on health care in Madrid, one goes to the non-public sector, as per AP.
Last week, there have been reviews that the hospitals in Spain have been strained. The nation’s health minister Carolina Darias attributed it to the “post-pandemic situation”.
Anadolu Agency (AA) reported citing broadcaster TVE that the hospitals in Madrid, Toledo, Castile and Leon, Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia have been hit probably the most.
“We have a chronic deficit of hospital beds … But now, with the spike of respiratory infections, we’re starting the day with up to 110 patients that cannot get a bed for days,” a physician advised reporters outdoors the La Paz hospital in Madrid.
“We are asking for help for our patients. They are in deplorable, inhumane conditions. We are not asking for better salaries, we are asking for safety and dignity for our patients,” the physician was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency final week.
Voicing comparable issues, one other physician advised the information company Reuters on Sunday that they are unable to increase correct care to sufferers.
“We have about 40 or 50 patients per day and can give them about six minutes each. The problem is that they do not allow us to give proper care to patients,” Ana Encinas, a physician with 37 years of expertise in major care in Madrid, advised the information company.
Meanwhile, the Spanish health minister has urged regional governments to carry a “dialogue” with healthcare workers to resolve strikes and forestall new ones, AA reported.
What Ayuso has stated
Ayuso’s Popular Party has been slammed in current years over alleged shortages of employees in major healthcare facilities, significantly because the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
Her insurance policies in the course of the pandemic attracted scrutiny as Madrid reported one of the best extra mortality charges in Europe, famous Deutsche Welle (DW).
The protesters took to the streets final November towards the Ayuso authorities’s plan to permit extra non-public gamers in healthcare partnerships, DW reported.
Ayuso has denied the allegations, claiming that protests have been pushed by the “political interests of left-wing rivals” in the run-up to municipal and regional elections in May throughout most of Spain.
During the November 2022 protests, she had stated the demonstrations have been organised to help the centre-left Spanish Socialist Workers’ social gathering in gaining prominence.
“It was held to find new far-left leadership for the Madrid region because of the collapse the Socialist party is going to suffer. If it had solely been a demonstration about public healthcare, don’t be in any doubt that two million madrileños would have attended,” she had stated, as per Indian Express.
Besides Madrid, protests and strikes are deliberate by healthcare workers in different locations in Spain together with Catalonia, Valencia, Extremadura, Andalusia, Navarre and Aragon.
Notably, nurses have additionally led industrial motion in the United Kingdom over the previous 12 months, with extra walkouts deliberate in the approaching days over working situations and pay disputes.
With inputs from companies