Unions today protest in health centers for the “unsustainable” situation of Primary Care



EITB Media

ELA, Satse, LAB, CCOO and UGT have called concentrations for today, at 1:00 p.m. before the health centers to denounce that Primary Care is collapsed due to lack of resources and to demand urgent solutions.

Unions ELA, Satse, LAB, CCOO and UGT they have summoned rallies today to denounce the “unsustainable” situation in Primary Care of Osakidetza and demand “real and immediate” solutions. They will concentrate at 13:00 hours in all health centers of Alava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa.

Likewise, they have called on the platforms and citizen movements that work in the same line to support the mobilization and that from now on they work together to reverse this situation.

These unions consider essential increase the budget in Health until reaching the EU average (7% of GDP), immediately reinforce the workforce and equip them with sufficient human resources in all categories with the creation of new posts. In that sense, they assure that 1,000 more places are needed.

They also demand the consolidation of the thousands of temporary workers and “end abusive temporary hiring”, streamline workloads and replace all absences from day one.

“Ultimately, a strategy is needed that prioritizes and reinforces Primary Care as opposed to the dismantling to which it has been subjected for more than a decade,” they defend in a joint note.

The unions warn that the situation in Osakidetza Primary Care “is unsustainable, both for workers and for the population.”

“The pandemic has further strained the situation of this level of care that was already dying before, since the problems are structural and much deeper and older than the current health crisis“they lament.

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However, they add that this pandemic, “in addition to making the collective’s working conditions even more precarious and the quality of care offered to citizens, has also become an excuse for Osakidetza to apply cuts and hinder the accessibility of and patients to public health “.

“All this, together with the lack of planning, reinforcement and investment, and the increased workload derived from managing the pandemic, has placed Primary Care against the ropes. The planned strategy of dismantling the Primary continues its course, while Osakidetza continues to cover up a structural deficit with COVID-19, “they criticize.

Before the pandemic, the staff already seconded three days of strike in 2019 to denounce “the lack of investment, cuts in accessibility, the lack of supply of services and a shortage of professionals.”

Osakidetza then put on the table a Primary Care Strategy document that the unions described as “erroneous and insufficient”, because it did not delve into the “great problem” of Primary Care: “the lack of investment for decades.”

“There is a lack of material and professional resources and, above all, a clear commitment for Primary Care to regain its role as a gateway to the public health system,” they insist.

The centrals affirm that two years after that strategy, “the situation has gotten worse”, and that, a year and a half after the first wave, “we find ourselves with a decimated, tired and resourceless health.”

“The high level of infections and the last welfare cuts (suspension of consultations, diagnostic tests, maintenance of telephone assistance, etc …) prove it: the workforce supports a temporary employment rate that is close to 60%; in October the reinforcement contracts ended; the number of trackers has dropped by half; the Nursing of Primary Care is being mobilized to deal with vaccination due to the dismantling of vaccination teams; the agendas of professionals are saturated; leave, vacations and other absences are not substituted; telephone assistance to citizens, together with the lack of information and coordination by the Department of Health, saturates the telephone lines and Patient Care counters on a daily basis, “they denounce.

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Faced with this situation, they consider it essential to adopt urgent measures to reinforce the public health service and call on citizens to mobilize for this in front of the health centers of the towns.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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