The Ministry of Health of the Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso has issued an order this Wednesday that prohibits collecting signatures in favor of the primary care physicians strike, posting posters in their support, or distributing information leaflets among patients.
The measure, according to the government communication, will be accompanied by random inspections: 50 from this very moment.
In addition, cleaning and maintenance services will be instructed to remove from health centers any material that is not related to the care service.
All these decisions come after the meeting to reach an agreement to end a strike that began in November failed on Monday, and after the massive demonstration that toured Madrid on Sunday in support of public health.
"It seems to us that the Ministry of Health is fleeing forward," said Ángela Hernández, general secretary of Amyts, just before beginning the demonstration every Wednesday attended by family and pediatric doctors.
"It seems to us the old technique of trying to stop the problem and kill the messenger," she insisted.
And she finished: "We are not worried because today we are going to deliver 50,000 signatures and we will have them for the coming weeks and the collection of signatures will continue in other places."
📃 The Health Council issues a resolution to ensure the proper use of health centers.
👉🏻 It does so after detecting activities unrelated to health care during the working day in the facilities.
— Health Madrid (@SaludMadrid) February 15, 2023
The resolution is issued "to guarantee proper use of health centers," according to a statement sent by the council led by Enrique Ruiz Escudero.
A measure that is taken "after detecting that during the course of the working day these devices are being used for the collection of signatures and other activities other than health care as a result of the physicians' strike that has been maintained since November at this level of care ”, argues the Government.
And he adds: “In accordance with current legislation, the use of Primary facilities for actions other than the provision of health services for the benefit of the patient is not allowed.
For this reason, activities such as the collection of signatures, the installation of posters or the distribution of unauthorized brochures, or any other action that is not of an assistance or health promotion nature may not be carried out.
The decision is not accidental.
The regional president has already shown a photo of a health center full of protest posters during the last plenary session of control of her Executive, held last Thursday in the Assembly, and has been accusing the opposition of wanting to turn these facilities into "electoral headquarters from the left”.
Poster warning of the prohibition to collect signatures at the Ibiza health center in Madrid, last Friday.BO
"This is your healing, not mine," the conservative leader said then while showing the photograph.
"This is how you want the health centers of the entire community, full of banners, leaflets, graffiti, badly attached posters on purpose, to give a bad image, the image of decadence that you like," she continued.
“Health centers and hospitals belong to the citizens, to the patients, and you are doing union work within the consultations and during citizen service hours,” she added.
"They hijack public services and privatize them for their political interests, they want to burst the system and blame me."
Those words were already received with fear and a certain weariness among the doctors, who consider that the Ayuso government is opting for censorship and preventing them from being able to speak naturally about the conflict with the patients who care about him and enter a hospital. health.
"We do not believe that repression is the answer, but unfortunately it is what we are going to find," Hernández insisted.
"Hopefully one day you will tell us," he told the media, "that they are going to turn around and take care of really managing primary care and that they are going to invest and position the budget, which is really what we need ”.
A few days later, on Monday, there was a new clash.
Juan Lobato, the PSOE leader in the region, visited a health center in Guadarrama.
The general secretary of the PP in Madrid, Alfonso Serrano, spotted in the background of the photographs of that event posters that called for a concentration called by the Socialists in defense of public health.
And he complained: "Now the PSOE uses the health centers to post propaganda?"
Hours later, according to a socialist source, the health center received a call from the Ministry of Health team urging the workers to remove the ads.
Now the PSOE uses the health centers to post propaganda??
— Alfonso Serrano (@SerranoAlfonso) February 13, 2023
The clash reflects a fundamental problem for the interests of the PP.
Díaz Ayuso's chief of staff, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, considers that the health crisis is the flame that can ignite the fire that devastates the majority of the leader, as he explained in an EL PAÍS report.
Consequently, the PP in Madrid is completely devoted to drowning out the oxygen that could feed that fire, even going over the doubts that its confrontational strategy is beginning to raise in the national PP.
First, by reducing the strike to thirty doctors a day, according to his calculations.
Then, stretching the labor conflict as much as possible by not reaching an agreement with the conveners.
And now, prohibiting the collection of support signatures in health centers.
For Hernández, general secretary of Amyts, everything has to do with the idea that the government has launched that the strike committee is actually immersed in a political conflict.
Nothing is further from reality, she has insisted.
“That can only make us sad.
We are doing everything possible [to reach an agreement].
We only care about care and that a million people from Madrid do not have an assigned family doctor and 200,000 children do not have a pediatrician”.
Harder have been the reactions of the left-wing opposition to the Ayuso government.
"The censored version of the sanitary botch has reached us," lamented Mónica García, the leader of Más Madrid.
"If the PP made half the effort to solve its bungling than to try to cover it up, Madrid would not be the epicenter of health chaos," she continued.
“For Ayuso the problem is the cartels.
For us, there are no doctors in health centers.
The solution is not to remove posters.
It goes through hiring professionals and taking care of our public health ”, has closed the spokesperson for Más Madrid.
This party, precisely, already denounced during the last electoral campaign that posters in favor of Ayuso appeared in the Isabel Zendal hospital.
On that occasion, the PP did not find it objectionable.
Juan Lobato, the leader of the socialists in Madrid, has also expressed himself in a very critical line.
"It cannot be that Ayuso's response to the demonstration last Sunday is to act with arrogance, contempt and prohibit the posting of posters," he said.
"If any other government was doing this, Ayuso would be talking about Stalinism," he opined.
"In Madrid there is a need for regeneration," he assured, referring to the municipal and regional elections that will be held on May 28.
“We are stupefied,” said Vanesa Lillo, an IU deputy registered in the Podemos parliamentary group.
"Inappropriately using health centers is having them empty because they don't hire professionals, having long lines to have an appointment... and now this is once again trying to persecute professionals," she added.
“The problem is that signatures are collected?
Isn't the problem that they have been dismantling public health for years, and that they refuse to take action? ”, She asked herself.
"We cannot tolerate that the Government tries to curtail fundamental rights."
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