Thousands of people stand up to the Andalusian Government for public health

“This doesn’t end here, it starts here.” The Government of Juan Manuel Moreno already has the formal verification that a long-term political front with health is opening up, a message sent by the White Tides when verifying their strength, gathering thousands of people in Seville against what they understand as a growing privatization that is deteriorating public services. The call made by this organization has responded to a long thirty entities including unions, left-wing political parties and social groups, who now want to keep up the pulse by creating a platform that brings together this discontent against the Andalusian Executive.

Andalusian health takes advantage of the contagion effect of the Madrid protests to redouble the pulse of Moreno

Andalusian health takes advantage of the contagion effect of the Madrid protests to redouble the pulse of Moreno

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The protest was distributed with concentrations in some parts of Andalusia, but had its epicenter in the Seville capital with a demonstration that, according to the organizers, brought together 20,000 people, a figure that the Government Delegation lowered to 4,000. Among the attendees there was a coincidence that the quality of the health system continues to decline and that it has not once overcome the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. This is how they showed it on posters and chanting slogans with messages such as Health is a right, not a privilege, Health defends itself whoever governs, your health is sold

The White Tides have the support of progressive parties, unions and collectives, but in their claim they connect with the day-to-day life of hundreds of thousands of Andalusians who, for example, continue to have to wait too many days for their doctor to see them. of family. The demonstration did not have the support of the health unions, but it joins those that are developing or have been called, such as the strike with which the Medical Union threatens for January, which translates into a continuous trickle for an Andalusian government that He insists on defending his administration. The concentration this Saturday has not reached the levels of what was experienced recently in Madrid, but it is a serious warning for a Juan Manuel Moreno who has thus faced his first major protest of this legislature.

The banner that presided over the protest had the motto Recover Andalusian public health. Our health is not your merchandise, and it is that the spokesman for Marea Blanca Sevilla, Sebastián Martín Recio, emphasized that the deterioration of the public sphere means that in Andalusia there are already almost two million private policies. “33% of Andalusian health spending is private,” he added, countering the defense of a public service model that “clashes with those who defend the private”, a front on which he places the PP and the Andalusian Executive.

This “continued deterioration of public health” is maintained despite the fact that the Andalusian budgets are reinforced with the investment that comes from Europe, but “they are using the money that is needed to replace staff and resources” to promote “referrals to the private sector , which acts in an opaque, expensive and ineffective way”. Hence the need to “rebuild, reinforce and rescue public health”, for which, among other measures, the stabilization of the 12,000 Covid contracts and the incorporation of 4,000 professionals in primary care and as many in hospitals are called for, in order to maintain Hospital consultations open until 10:00 p.m.

The collective gave a voice to the discomfort in the work areas fed up neighborhoods, recalling that in these areas citizens “cannot afford to go to private healthcare.” And although the protest did not have the support of the health unions, workers such as Patricia Jiménez, a family doctor in Chucena (Huelva) who attended with her children Darío and Lucía, all in white coats and the little ones with signs on their heads, were present. what was read Health is not played. And although they are not bad at his health center now (it was another thing in the summer, when there was only one doctor when his partner went on vacation), he points out that the situation in other health centers is unsustainable due to a lack of professionals and, therefore, lack of time to care for patients, which translates into excessively long times to get an appointment. “It is a pride that so many people come to this protest,” she stressed.

Seeing what was coming its way, the Government of Juan Manuel Moreno has repeatedly repeated this week that Andalusian health “has never had more money or more personnel.” This same Saturday, the Minister of Health, Catalina García, assured in a statement that “Andalusian health, with objective data, is better than four years ago. That is undeniable.” Thus, and in addition to guaranteeing the continuity of the 12,000 Covid contracts (“we are working with the Treasury on contracting”), he focused on comparing the current situation with 2018, the last year of socialist management: “We have 34 health and social health centers more than 30,000 professionals who have joined the Andalusian Health Service (SAS) and an increase of almost 5,000 million euros in the Budget of the Junta for health compared to 2018. Today Andalusia allocates 460 euros more in health per inhabitant than four years ago”.

Likewise, the PP has once again come out in defense of the work that is being done in health, something that the Andalusian president also does who, without falling into the line that Isabel Díaz Ayuso maintains in Madrid, assured this Thursday in Parliament that he is “ open” to incorporate “proposals” for improvement. “In the health field, we try to do the best we can and know how”, while insisting that “no one can doubt the commitment” of his Government to public health and the Ministry of Health demands more time to see its policies.

If there was a demonstration in Seville, in Cádiz, Algeciras and Granada there were also concentrations called by the White Tides. In the Nasrid capital, the meeting point was the central Fuente de las Batallas, where a protest lasted about an hour. In addition, it so happens that it is the first act for health that takes place in a city marked by the massive demonstrations that took place between 2016 and 2017 led by Jesús Candel ‘Spiriman’, recently deceased. On that occasion it was against the management of the socialist government of Susana Díaz and its plans for hospital mergers.

Moreno, don’t privatize ibuprofen, Public and quality health o No to the dismantling of the Andalusian School of Public Health have been some of the banners that have been read. In addition, and in a didactic way, through resuscitation workshops or taking blood pressure to those present, the aim has been to make visible the importance of good public health.

People have attended this meeting of the white tides, civil associations, unions and left-wing parties, not only from Granada, but also from Jaén and Almería, two provinces that suffer first-hand from public health problems. In the Jaén case, the College of Physicians has denounced that there is a lack of professionals in the ICU of the Medical Surgical Hospital of Jaén capital. Not only that, according to the data, this province continues to occupy the last position in Andalusia in terms of doctors per inhabitant with one for every 307 citizens, according to figures from the Andalusian Council of Medical Associations.

As for Almería, the lack of personnel is the big problem faced by professionals in this province. According to a report from the CSIF union, which has not participated in this mobilization because it has its own protest calendar, in Almería there are at least 500 doctors missing from health centers. A situation that worsens in areas like Níjar where GPs have to cover between 2,000 and 2,500 citizens.

In the case of Granada, the regional hospitals of Baza and Motril are two of the worst-off centers in the entire province. In both centers, unions and professionals regret that the Ministry of Health is “dismantling” services by not attracting new workers for different categories. In fact, surgical operations in Baza have only been done on an outpatient basis for a long time because there is a lack of specialists, especially in cardiology, which generates waiting lists that in some patients can exceed a year.

The discontent with the health situation was reflected in any of the attendees. That is the case of Sara, a young woman who explains that her own family doctor asks her not to go see him “if it is not completely necessary” because unfortunately he and her colleagues “are overwhelmed”. Or Josefina, a retiree who has been waiting weeks for an appointment with her cardiologist.

In total, a thousand people have mobilized, according to police sources. An appointment in which a greater investment in primary care has been claimed to retain talent and prevent especially the youngest health workers from leaving, a problem that is aggravating the care capacity of outpatient clinics and hospitals. In addition, as in the case of Seville, Cádiz and the Campo de Gibraltar, where the white tides have also emerged, the Government of Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla has been asked to stop privatizing health care, as evidenced by the record numbers of referrals to private healthcare.

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