The citizens of Madrid responded massively to the demonstration against the privatization policies of the regional government.

More images of the mobilization on this link

The jump

The turnout for the public health demonstration on Sunday, November 13 exceeded the forecasts of the organizing groups and spilled over into the streets of Madrid, the result of a health rebellion against the privatization measures of the government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso. The Government Delegation estimated the attendance at more than 200,000 people, while the organizers put the figure at 670,000 people.

The hasty and the chaotic opening new continuous care points (PAC) without sufficient staff, since 80 PACs were deployed with the staff of the 40 former rural care services (SAR), led to a indefinite strike called by the AMYTS medical union, in addition to the walkouts promoted by the SUMMAT and MATS unions for all PAC staff in weekends and physician resignations. At the same time, public concern has grown to the point that initial forecasts for this Sunday’s protest have been turned upside down.

Added to this is the abandonment of senior officials of the regional health ministry after learning of the new plans for extra-hospital emergencies.

Pedro Almodóvar at the march for public health. The organization highlights as key the call for actors and actresses to support the march over the past two weeks. DAVID F. SABADELL

All this explains the massive response from the public this Sunday. After 12:30 p.m., leaving Atocha station to get to the march was practically impossible, reports Susana Albarrán, from El Salto Madrid. The four columns that would head towards Cibeles from Nuevos Ministerios, Ópera, Hospital de la Princesa and Atocha converged on the Paseo del Prado demonstrating the revulsion of the people of Madrid at the health management of their president.

White scarves, public health slogans and calls for Ayuso to step down were among the messages. Before the reading of the manifesto, there was a special commemoration for the elderly who died in the residences of the Community of Madrid. “These are not deaths, they are murders”, chanted the participants to show their indignation at the protocols signed between March 18 and 25 which established the criteria for not carrying out these transfers according to their physical capacities. or cognitive. 7,291 elderly people perished inside nursing homes without being transferred to hospital.

A girl holds a banner for public health care during the protest in Madrid.DAVID F. SABADELL

From the stage when the demands were formulated, Lola Barquero stressed that it is women who are the main carers and companions in matters of health. “The inequitable distribution of care tasks causes women to suffer from the deficiencies of primary care,” she said, emphasizing the value of the role of community-based care provided by primary care clinics. Barquero recalled all the women who make health care possible, such as babysitters and cleaners, who share with many other women the consequences of precariousness.

Afterwards, Rebeca, a persistent covid patient, spoke. “Trying to recover your health cannot depend on whether you have enough money”, which in Madrid affects more than 200,000 people, she said, with up to 200 different symptoms which become chronic and cannot be cured.

The public response was overwhelming. DAVID F. SABADELL

Antonio Cabrera, from the CC OO, pointed out that one of the consequences of the pandemic is the need for mental health care, in the face of the lack of adequate resources and policies. Icíar Valero, a worker from the Rural Care Service (SAR), described the situation of rural emergencies and was very critical of the regional government’s plan to implement telecare.

The organization recalled Mar Noguerol, a doctor who was reprimanded after check-in a video of a protest at his health center. There was also a warning about the exclusion of migrants from health care: the health care that citizens have demanded is universal and no one should be deprived of it.

“It’s historic,” the organization said before the end of the march, giving way to the Solfónica.

Demonstrators with banners against health exclusion. ALVARO MINGUITO