Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- The two capitals of the Canary Islands have hosted demonstrations this Saturday in defense of public health and against “the covert privatization” of the Blood Bank.
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, hundreds of people and more than a dozen groups have taken to the streets to demand a “quality public” service.
The spokesperson for the Espacio de la Confluencia de Gran Canaria, Fernanda Gadea, explained that the ten groups calling for “are not lacking reasons to take to the streets”, because in her opinion “this demand goes beyond public health, It is for the defense of public services in general.”
Canary health, he said, is “on the verge of collapse” with “disastrous management over decades”, for which they have decided to take to the streets “not only to complain, but to offer answers.”
For Gadea, “privatization supposes diverted public money, it supposes waiting lists in which, unfortunately, we are always the same, those from below”, and for this reason “private hands have to go outside of public services, starting with the health”.
Gadea, a nurse by profession, has assured that the x-ray is “disastrous, it is almost a terminal cancer”, because despite having “unbeatable human resources” the environment “is most hostile, extremely harsh”.
Society “can’t take it anymore” and for this reason, health workers “have gone out to find answers to the problems.”
In the capital of Tenerife, around a thousand people, according to police sources consulted by EFE, have taken to the streets to shout that “there is no business with healthcare.”
Dressed with a multitude and various banners, the demonstrators have walked through the heart of downtown Santa Cruz before the gaze, between astonished and curious, of a flood of tourists recently disembarked from the cruise ships docked in the port.
The Minister of Health has been the target of the protesters’ chants of denunciation, such as “Blas Trujillo wants a beach bar” or “Blas Trujillo tells the truth”; slogans interspersed with other more generic ones such as “don’t touch the blood bank” or “hey, hey, hey, people get mad.”
The details of the protests were on banners where you could read phrases such as “take care of those who take care of you”, “I’ve been working for 24 hours, can I take care of you?”, “Your blood is sold”, “no more junk contracts”, “we are up to the phonendos” or “deficient templates, risks for patients”.
Daniel Quintero, spokesman for ICHH Público, a collective on strike for 320 days, has told journalists that what they want with this day of protest is “good contracts, that there are no waiting lists”, and to say “loud and clear” to the Government of the Canary Islands: “we are here defending what is public and we are not going to stop”.
Regarding the Blood Bank, he said that what the regional executive wants is “a covert privatization”, changing its management model through the creation of a public business entity, “that is, public-private management, which is what so much it is being criticized in other communities.”
“We don’t want business to be done with blood,” Quintero proclaimed, because “medicines are made from it, especially derived plasma,” and for this reason “we don’t want any private management company to have to manage that capital.” .
He regretted that the Canary Islands Blood Bank is “the last in Spain” and there is “a serious problem of shortages in operating rooms and chronic and oncomatological patients” on the islands, with an average of 29 donations per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to the 48 of Extremadura, the highest ratio.
Rebeca Amador, president of Sanidad Canaria Unida, has denounced for her part that SCS professionals are “mistreated, duplicating hours, living in a precarious hiring system, of days, even hours.”
Amador has asked the Canarian Minister of Health “not to lie” and if there is someone with a “political intention, it is you, with elections just around the corner”, he added.
At the demonstration in Las Palmas, and on behalf of the company committee of the El Pino social and health center, Abián Gutiérrez stated that they are “in defense of public health and quality public services like the ones we deserve”, and so that “The sector of residences should be deprivatized, because they are people who have worked all their lives and who deserve quality healthcare.”
In turn, they are looking for “salary equality, more staff, more material and more means”, because currently “we are in ridiculous ratios of attention” and we need “professionals and, above all, stable personnel to give stability to the sector and to be able to have good care.”
On behalf of the Canary Islands Workers Union Front and the Gran Canaria Pensioners Group, Isabel Talavera has shared the words of her colleague against privatizations and has called for “measures to prevent the collapse of Canarian healthcare and those who suffer from emergencies”.
As he stressed, “there are not enough beds, they are dilapidated, the food is horrible, and adequate service is now needed, which is real.”
The people of the Canary Islands “are the first in poverty, with the lowest salary and the first in deterioration of everything public”, for which they demand that “the service be returned” today in the hands of the private sector.
The ‘Pasillo Cero’ associations or political parties have also integrated this white tide, as well as mental health patients such as Álvaro Moreno, who has stressed the importance of “health beyond physical health, also mental health, especially in these times ” and that it suffers “lack of personnel, resources and measures”.
In the demonstration in Tenerife there have been allusions to the act of signing the act of reconsideration of the second phase of the expansion of the Maternal and Child University Hospital of the Canary Islands this Friday, which was signed by the regional president, Ángel Víctor Torres.
“It is not the first attempt or the first time that the works of the children’s tower have begun,” the president of Sanidad Canaria Unida has slipped, who has said that it is not believed “at all” that the project will go ahead.
“How much is left for the elections? We will return to the same, borage waters ”, he has settled.