Friday, August 12

The College of Physicians of Seville disqualifies the new Minister of Health for being a nurse and unleashes the collective protest

The words of Alfonso Carmona, president of the College of Physicians of Seville, about the new Health Minister of the Junta de Andalucía, Catalina García, have unleashed a war between doctors and nurses. The top leader of the association that represents Sevillian doctors considers, in an interview conducted by Medical Writing, that his appointment “is not acceptable” because “a nurse should not be in charge of that Ministry.” Some statements that have caused discomfort among the nurses when they feel underestimated and that have been worth the reaction of the president of the Andalusian Nursing CouncilJosé Miguel Carrasco, who understands that they “disqualify themselves”.

Catalina García, continuing replacement of Jesús Aguirre at the head of Health after being his vice-counselor

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Catalina García, the new representative of the Health portfolio in Andalusia, has served as deputy minister under the orders of her previous head, Jesús Aguirre, so she is more than familiar with the work carried out in this ministry. Together they have dealt with three health crises in the last legislature, including the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

García had the explicit consent of Aguirre to replace him in office. The current president of the Andalusian Parliament was one of the few advisers who addressed President Juan Manuel Moreno, before he appointed his new Government, so that he “take into account the people on his team” when choosing his replacement , confirm sources close to Aguirre.

Catalina García is one of only two deputy councilors who has risen to the rank of councilor in the new Executive. She has extensive experience in the framework of Andalusian health because she is not only a nurse for the Andalusian Health Service (SAS), but in her work as a parliamentarian she has served as part of Health commissions and has been spokesperson for Health in the Andalusian Parliament before becoming deputy minister and now rising to the position of highest representative of health professionals in the entire autonomous community. However, her premiere has been met with rejection by doctors.

Alfonso Carmona, the highest representative of Sevillian doctors, not only assumes that “it is not acceptable” for Catalina García to be the Minister of Health as she is a nurse and does not have sufficient training in her opinion, but in statements to Andalusia, does not retract. “Things are as they are and that’s it. I would have continued with the same council that was that of Jesús Aguirre and vice-counselor Catalina. I thought it was for the best. In this context, I think it is better to have a doctor with extensive management experience than a nurse. I’m not going against her or anyone. It is a fact that I want to confirm.” Carmona understands that her vision is shared by the professionals of the union.

“The training of a doctor is more than that of a nurse”

“This lady has been elected, and it seems to me that her political career is magnificent, but now what we have to do is stop fooling around and after having said what I have said, that I do not take it back, what I do say is that I am going to to be at the forefront of the help that must be given to it so that Andalusian health continues at the same point that we have shown in recent years, which is the best in Spain”. Betting on giving her her “loyalty” and acknowledging that he has already met with her, Alfonso Carmona insists that her training is essential to hold the position of director. “I think that at the head of an institution such as a council, the highest level must be there and there is the person who is best trained, who can be a doctor. The doctor is the doctor and the nurse is the nurse. I have always gotten along with them because I believe that united is better than disunited, but that does not mean that the training of a doctor of six years of studies plus four or five of specialty is more than a nurse who is four years of training and period ” .

For his namesake at the Andalusian Nursing Council (CAE), José Miguel Carrasco, these statements should be taken as something “personal”. “They have created controversy and they are not successful, but I think it is a tantrum at a given moment, due to a certain political decision that has motivated this situation.” Carrasco is clear that “the members of the Medical College of Seville do not share these opinions.” Regarding the discredit that tends to be cast on nursing from medicine, the president of the CAE says that the only thing they ask from the union is “to be treated the same as other professionals.” In fact, nurses constitute the professional category with the most personnel within the SAS with more than 33,000 workers of the more than 121,000 that Andalusian public health has. They are also usually the ones who obtain the worst contracts because, especially among the youngest health workers, they have very short ties that end up expelling many of them to other autonomous communities or even abroad.

Despite the fact that the representative of the CAE, who has met this week with the new counselor, understands that Carmona’s words against the appointment of Catalina García are punctual, the truth is that the Seville Medical Union has a similar position . Rafael Ojeda, his spokesperson, affirms that they are not going to veto Catalina García as a director in any case, but acknowledges that there is discomfort in the union. “Among doctors, discomfort has been growing in recent years due to the treatment that our group has received compared to others, especially that of nursing. Nursing staffs have grown a lot in recent years, when medical staffs have hardly done so. In medicine there are hardly any substitutions and certain improvements, such as the implementation of continuity of care in primary care, have cost us years of hard negotiation”.

“The main problem in primary care is the shortage of doctors, and yet the SAS has focused its efforts on promoting nursing, creating nursing consultations to replace medical consultations and giving nursing the ability to prescribe medications such as insulin. . But none of this is going to alleviate the lack of doctors, which is the main problem of the system and for which the SAS has not implemented any decisive measures”. Reasons why from the Medical Union they feel “underestimated” to a “great extent” by the regional Executive. “It is in this context that the decision to put a nurse at the head of the council must be placed. In other words, not in one that affects their qualifications and skills, but in a context of contempt for the group of doctors who, due to their training, we understand are the ones who should be at the forefront of health management”.

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