One more Spanish protest to protect public health in Madrid

February 7, 2013 12:00 pm

Spanish Protest People's Party

Thousands marched in a Spanish protest on the 13th of January through central Madrid to protest against the plans of the People’s Party (PP) local government to partly privatise the city’s public health system in the latest of numerous strikes and demonstrations to take place in Spain in recent months.

Following the first major demonstration of the year, which took place just one week before, protesters once again donned their white medical scrubs to take to the streets, creating a “white tide” which invaded the town from noon until the late afternoon. The large crowd advanced under a hand-made written banner proclaiming, ‘Health care is not to be sold, it’s to be defended’ while chanting, ‘Public Health: Yes, we can do it!’.

Although Madrid demonstrations traditionally take place in Puerta del Sol square, this protest started with a march from Paseo del Prado, just in front of the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality headquarters.

Spanish Protest

The privatisation health care reform proposal that sparked the protest, was presented by the Government of the Community of Madrid in order to restore the region’s finances. Each of Spain’s seventeen semi-autonomous communities is in charge of administering its own health care and education through local policies.

If finally adopted, this austerity measure would privatise the management of 6 out of 20 public hospitals, and 27 of 268 healthcare centres currently active across the region.

In the recent past, similar reforms have already been adopted by other communities ruled by the same political party: the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha privatised the management of four public hospitals during 2012.

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