Thousands of people demonstrated this Sunday in the streets of Madrid in defense of the public health service and against the “destruction” of primary care that they claim the regional government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso is promoting.
“Madrid stands up for its public health. Against the destruction of primary care” was the slogan of the march that brought together around 200,000 people, according to government estimates, a figure that the organizers put at 670,000, although, in a first calculation, they indicated that there would be around 300,000 participants.
Four columns of protesters left four different locations – Nuevos Ministérios, Atocha, Ópera and Hospital de La Princesa – to converge on Plaza de Cibeles, the EFE news agency reported.
Screaming “public health”, “Ayuso, resignation” and “less speeches and more resources”, the protesters held up white handkerchiefs and accused the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP), of destroying primary care, which with long waiting times for access and precarious work of health professionals.
The Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruíz Escudero, said that the demonstration was “politically encouraged” by Mais Madrid and reiterated that the protest “does not condition” the work of the regional executive, who seeks an agreement with the unions of the sector.
“The problem of professionals, especially family doctors, does not only occur in Madrid, but in all autonomous communities”, said the minister.
One of the starting points was the Hospital de La Princesa, where the health personnel on duty, by the windows, responded with applause and raised their fists to the ovation that the protesters gave them at the beginning of the march.
Thousands of doctors also participated in the demonstration to warn that they need more resources and personnel to carry out their work, stressing that the situation is at the “limit” and that it has been “many years” to withstand “a lot of pressure”, reported the EFE agency. .
Representatives of left-wing parties in the Madrid Assembly criticized Ayuso for his management of out-of-hospital emergencies and primary care and demanded that he change his policy for the benefit of public health.
The spokeswoman for Más Madrid in the Assembly, Mónica García, a doctor, told journalists that Ayuso must assume political responsibilities.
“Either the Minister of Health leaves or the entire PP Government leaves, because what they are doing is an unprecedented failure”, said Mónica García.
After the march, in statements sent to the media, the spokesman for the PP at the Madrid Assembly, Pedro Muñoz Abrines, considered the demonstration a “failure”, claiming that “99% of Madrilenians” did not support it.