Wednesday, December 8

A massive demonstration protests against the Feijóo model for Primary Care

Thousands of people demonstrated this Sunday in Santiago de Compostela against the model of the government of Alberto Núñez Feijóo for public health, with special emphasis on the collapse of Primary Care. The protest, called by the SOS Public Health Platform, was massive and left Praza da Quintana small, where it ended. Among the chanted slogans were that of “Feijóo, attend, health is not for sale.”

The Xunta reduces the budget for Primary Care in the midst of the collapse of the service

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The situation of Primary Care is in focus with the progressive improvement of the pandemic data and relief in hospitals. Patients and professionals report the difficulties in seeing the family doctor and the saturation of the health workers who work in health centers. The face-to-face appointments did not recover until mid-September. The collapse of the service became evident last summer, when vacations and the increase in population in some areas were added to the previous situation. Both the president of the Xunta and his councilor for Health, Julio García Comesaña, admitted that the doctors were not enough, but pointed to a shortage of professionals. “We do not have a magic wand to get doctors from where there are none,” the councilor went on to say. For unions and professional associations, however, the explanation lies in the precarious conditions offered by the Xunta.

At present, in many health centers it is still necessary to wait around a week to get an appointment with the primary care doctor. In this context, the budgets presented for 2022 by the Xunta include a cut in the funds allocated to primary care and the official data of the Galician Government certify that the hiring of doctors in this area has been frozen since Feijóo arrived at the Xunta. Reorganization plans for health centers have also roused the sector.

With this breeding ground, the protest this Sunday in the Galician capital was prepared to demand more resources for Primary Care. SOS Sanidade Pública has protested against the budget cuts of the last 12 years, which it considers have been aggravated by the pandemic. The platform accuses the Xunta of favoring the private system. His spokesman, Manuel Martín, assured before starting the demonstration that Primary Care is in a “dramatic” situation and that the access problems for many patients are “very serious.” The wait to be treated reaches 10 and even 15 days at some points, he assured.

Martín also stressed that they are closing rural health centers in areas with an aging population. “The situation is unbearable,” he said. He has demanded that the Xunta propose an alternative that provides a solution to the problem and has criticized the attitude adopted so far by those responsible for public health: “The will is not to remedy a situation of so much social significance with resources.”

Different platforms related to health and political groups have joined the protest. The BNG, the PSdeG, Podemos Galicia and Esquerda Unida have attended. The main class unions in Galicia were also present: CCOO, UGT and CIG -majority in public health-. The latter has shared a video of Praza da Quintana on his social networks:

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