Faced with lack of consideration, Spanish doctors demonstrate for the first time in 25 years

Faced with lack of consideration, Spanish doctors demonstrate for the first time in 25 years

Spanish doctors, worn out by two successive waves of coronavirus, are on strike. They demand better treatment from administrations.

A few dozen doctors gathered on Tuesday October 27, 2020 in front of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid to ask for more consideration from the authorities.  (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)

This had not happened for 25 years in Spain. Spanish doctors are on strike, tired by two waves of coronavirus, but also by the way the country’s authorities are treating them, without asking for an increase.

A decree that allows almost everything

In Madrid, a few dozen of them gathered in front of Parliament to make themselves heard. They weren’t very many. And for good reason, the authorities have limited the number of demonstrators, Covid-19 requires, and established a minimum service: 80% to 100% of the staff must remain at their posts. In addition, Spanish doctors are no longer used to strike. “What triggered this unprecedented strike for 25 years, explains Juan Fidalgo, anesthesiologist at the San Carlos Clinical Hospital, it is the decree which establishes that a doctor can be appointed to any post, regardless of his abilities. ”The decree allows, for example, to send an ophthalmologist or a gynecologist to so-called “Covid” units, but also to hire non-European practitioners exceptionally, without their training being approved.

Doctors are attracted to foreigners

The lack of doctors is glaring, the authorities apologize. Yes, answer the professionals, but because Spain does not know how to retain those who prefer to go abroad. Patricia is a doctor at Severo Ochoa Hospital, in Madrid: “All those who leave do so because they have much more attractive conditions in the rest of Europe, she believes. Economic conditions of course. But above all, we ask for working conditions that allow us to do our work with a certain quality. ”

In Madrid, the region has started discussions, but only with family doctors and interns.