Madrid: 200,000 people on the streets for regional health – Photos


With a central slogan “Madrid unites to support the public health system against the plan to destroy it”, crowds of people took to the streets of the Spanish capital

Many hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered today in Madrid to defend the public health system in the Spanish capital region and to demonstrate against a plan to reform this sector.

With a central motto “Madrid unites to support public health system against plan to destroy it”crowds gathered on a sunny autumn afternoon in four locations in the Spanish capital, before marching to the town hall.

They participated in the demonstration 200,000 peopleaccording to a representative of the regional government, 650,000 according to the organizers.

“A health care system for all, your health should never depend on your wallet,” read a large green banner, as thousands of protesters chanted “a public health system!”

The demonstration, organized following a call by local associations and municipalities, targets the health policies of the mayor of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, one of the personalities of the Popular Party (PP). Ayuso wants to develop public-private partnerships and restructure the local healthcare system.

Spain’s socialist government gave its support to the protesters.

“Madrid is the region that invests the least money in health per inhabitant. The national average is 1,700 euros per inhabitant and in Madrid it is 1,300 euros,” said the Minister of the Presidency of the Spanish government, Félix Bolanos.

“It is the region with the fewest doctors and nurses per capita,” he added.

According to him, the crisis in the region’s public health system is due to a “disastrous management” by the PP regional government.

The demonstration comes ahead of a strike called for November 21 by 5,000 doctors, particularly paediatricians, who are complaining about “excessive workloads”, their “endless” appointment calendars and “insufficient time with (their) patients”.


They will join the medical staff strike movement recently launched against new non-hospital urgent care centers, some of which offer only video-call tests, due to staff shortages.

“What (the regional government) is doing is an unprecedented disaster,” Monica Garcia of the leftist Mas Madrid party told reporters.

“Ayouso must listen to this demonstration. Either her local health minister leaves or she leaves, or the entire (including regional) government of the People’s Party leaves,” he added.

“There is a very simple way to keep professionals: offer them contracts that are not just for a month, a week or a weekend,” he continued.

Local care services in the Madrid region have been under pressure for years due to a lack of resources and staff, according to unions. And according to them, the difficulties have been increased by poor regional management.


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