Hundreds of thousands protest Madrid’s health – DW – 13/11/2022

Hundreds of thousands protest Madrid's health – DW – 13/11/2022
Written by admin

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched in Madrid on Sunday to defend the area’s public health system, which they said was at risk by the conservative regional government.

Famous artists, families with children, grandparents, politicians, trade unionists and health workers participated in the march.

A regional government spokesman said 200,000 attended, but organizers more than tripled the total.

Aerial photographs on the main boulevards leading to City Hall showed a vast sea of ​​protesters coming from all directions.

On 13 November 2022 in the Spanish capital, hundreds of thousands of people marched in central Madrid against the public health situation.
Hundreds of thousands of people, including many health workers, marched in the center of Madrid.Image: Oscar Del Pozo/AFP/Getty Images

Why are Madrid residents protesting?

Unions say primary health care in the Madrid area has been under great pressure for years due to a lack of resources and staff as a result of austerity measures implemented during the country’s financial crisis a decade ago.

Union representatives say health care has worsened due to mismanagement, and the regional government is looking to further restructure the system to allow for greater public-private health partnerships.

Authorities also want to increase online emergency care due to staff shortages in public health centers.

“What they’ve done is an unprecedented disaster,” Monica Garcia of the far-left Mas Madrid party told reporters.

“There’s a very simple way to retain professionals, and that’s to be nice to them: Give them contracts that aren’t just for a month, a week, a weekend. If a government can’t do that, it’s because they’re in political business,” Garcia added.

Regional leader Ayuso stepped forward

In addition to greater investment in healthcare, protesters have also demanded the resignation of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, head of Madrid’s right-wing regional government.

A cynical figure shows Isabel Díaz Ayusu, head of Madrid's right-wing regional government, during protests in the Spanish capital on 13 November 2022.
A cynical figure depicts Isabel Díaz Ayusu, head of Madrid’s right-wing regional governmentImage: Oscar Del Pozo/AFP/Getty Images

Madrid’s Iron Lady garnered support and opposition with her populist rhetoric, accusing left-wing politicians of being communists and nurses being lazy.

The left-wing national government weighed in on Saturday’s protest, saying regional officials led by Ayuso are responsible for “disaster management” of Madrid’s public health services.

“Madrid is the region with the least investment in health per capita,” Cabinet Minister Felix Bolanos said. Said. “The national average is €1,700 ($1,759) per person and €1,300 in Madrid.”

Bolanos added that Madrid is also the region with the fewest doctors and nurses per capita.

Strike action expands family doctors

The protest precedes a planned strike of nearly 5,000 district family physicians and pediatricians scheduled for November 21, amid overwork, endless appointments and lack of time with patients.

“The cuts since 2010 are devastating for public health. The situation is no longer tenable,” a doctor from the Hospital de la Princesa told the Spanish news agency Europa Press.

They will join an earlier strike by medical staff on the new model for out-of-hospital emergency centers, which have seen some offer only video consultations due to a lack of staff.

mm/aw (AFP, AP dpa)

About the author


Leave a Comment