2 Dec, 2020 @ 14:15
1 min read

Thousands take to Madrid streets to protest health service budget cuts in Spain

New Nurse Isabel Zendal Hospital Inauguration In Madrid  Spain   01 Dec 2020
December 1, 2020, Madrid, Spain: Protesters holding placards expressing their opinion during a demonstration against the inauguration..The President of the Community of Madrid, Isable Díaz Ayuso inaugurates the ''Nurse Isabel Zendal'' Hospital at Valdebebas, Madrid. Its construction was planned to combat the COVID-19 pandemic but the project was accelerated by the increase in cases during the second wave, this pressure against the clock led to an increase in the cost of construction of approximately 100 million euros, in addition, the lack of doctors and health personnel were covered with volunteers and this provoked demonstrations from the health sector. (Credit Image: © Diego Radames/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire)

FOUR thousand health workers have taken to the streets in Madrid to protest the proposed budget cuts for Spain’s health service.

Dancing and playing instruments, doctors and nurses waved placards and sang ‘less flags and more nurses’ in Madrid on Sunday November 30.

Yet, the capital’s regional government has denied plans to cut health services.

Madrid has been the Spanish region hit hardest by coronavirus and, in response, has opened a new coronavirus hospital.

The Isabel Zendal complex, which cost almost €100 million, was built in just three months and is capable of treating over 1,000 patients.

“This hospital is proof of the serious and rigorous way that Madrid has to work for the future,” said the regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

Ayuso stressed the hospital would be an ‘oxygen pump’ to ‘alleviate the Madrid health care system in pandemics, catastrophes or accidents’.

However, some activists who took to the streets this weekend say the new facilities are a facade.

They fear that the new building has spent vital resources, which could have been better used for staff recruitment. 

Many protesters were also concerned by the injustice of temporary contracts and low wages for key health workers.

Lydia Spencer-Elliott

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