Wednesday, November 30

Thousands of people parade through Madrid against Ayuso’s “goal” to public health

Thousands of people – up to 23,000 according to the organizers – have paraded through Madrid this afternoon, from the Plaza de Neptuno to the intersection between the streets of Alcalá and Seville, to demand “public, universal and quality Madrid healthcare”, the slogan of the march called by some thirty organizations from all health and union sectors. The recent announcement that the government of the Community of Madrid intends to reopen the Primary Care Emergency Services (SUAP), closed with the pandemic, but without expanding the staff, has inflamed the health workers, annoyed by what they see as a trick that abounds in the precariousness and overwork of the templates. “They are scoring a goal for us,” summarized Elena C., a 41-year-old nurse from Navalcarnero who was attending the march.

The health management of the PP in Madrid has once again united health groups whose demands do not always coincide. Today, they all went to one. From caretakers and nursing assistants to doctors participated in a call that was gaining volume a little after the start time of the header, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Before the start, the groups of protesters, with an abundance of white coats, had to live for a few moments with a previous, minority march of critics of the 2030 Agenda, still surrounded by the “health tyranny” and the rejection of the vaccine of COVID. There were brief exchanges of insults, without major incident. The respectable average age of the attendees helped to keep calm, among whom twenty-somethings who were not professionals in the sector could hardly be seen.

“We have gone from being heroes to being kicked out,” criticized the Navalcarnero nurse, who understands that the plans for the SUAP and the Rural Care Services (SAR) are a “tiny piece”, a first bite of a plan long-term downsizing and privatization. “They do not present a plan, they do not give anything in writing, schedules are leaked by WhatsApp and then it turns out that they are confirmed”, she lamented about the most recent action of the Ministry of Health.

The branch counselor, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, was the most booed during the march along with the regional president herself, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. “Counselor, resignation,” chanted the attendees, among whom were representatives of the Amyts doctors’ union, the Satse nurses’ union, UGT, CC OO, the federation of neighborhood associations and all the opposition parties in the Madrid Assembly: More Madrid, PSOE and Podemos.

“They take you out of the system”

While the demonstration surrounded the Cibeles fountain and ascended through Alcalá, doctors Marta Carmona, Álvaro Cerame and Alberto Cotillas, under 40, from that still relatively young subgroup of doctors who, according to Minister Escudero, were talking on the corner of the Bank of Spain. they are in sufficient number to cover the places that the public service needs. “They take you out of the system,” opposed Gotillas, a family doctor in Parla, and the other two, psychiatrists in Alcalá de Henares and Madrid, respectively, agreed. “If you see 83 patients in one day, if they violate the staff statute, if they tell you that you have to do night shifts without pay […] Everything has repercussions ”, they pointed out, recalling that young doctors leave Spain by the thousands due to precariousness and the unbearable workload, which in Madrid are even harsher. An “absolute job insecurity”, which has not prevented the announcement about the SUAP from having “surprised all” the professional group, and that these three doctors explain themselves as an “electoral tool”.

The platoon was reinforced as the route progressed, and when the head reached Sevilla Street, the queue was still walking through the Prado Museum. Minutes before 7:30 p.m., the reading of the manifesto began, again with a special mention to Counselor Osorio, who “without any complex […] considers that contracting private insurance is a good decision in the face of the impossibility that a person can be attended to in the public system in a reasonable time”. The subsequent booing was widespread.

The demands of the protesters are summarized in 17 points that go through budget transparency, the urgent reinforcement of primary care and the end of privatization, among the most urgent, with the ultimate goal of a legal reform that reverses the care model medical doctor of the PP, practically since the competence over Health was transferred to the regional government.