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Madrid Election Talk: the fight to save Spain’s public health system

18 April 2021

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Can’t vote? You CAN be a part of the conversation!

Madrid Election Talk has been created for the May 4, 2021 Madrid elections to inform and empower anyone who lives in Madrid but who does not have the right to vote. By knowing our local politics, we can talk to our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours and our family-in-law and help influence voter turnout of The Left and stop Ayuso being re-elected!

Let’s break down why the privatisation of the public healthcare system is so dangerous, and what Madrid’s Left-wing vs Right-wing parties are planning on doing about it.

Privatising hospitals and surgeries means fewer intensive care beds.

Private health centres and hospitals give priority to the most profitable patients (the wealthy and healthy) and de-prioritise emergency care and intensive care units, which is devastating in a pandemic. Preparing for a pandemic involves spending money in the hope that it’s not necessary – something only the public sector can achieve because it does not prioritise profit.

Privatising care homes means more risks are taken.

The effects of privatisation have been even more serious in nursing homes, where they’ve kept their costs low by hiring very few staff who are badly paid and not adequately trained, who receive little to no sick pay (forcing them to come to work even when ill) and who are also forced to work at multiple facilities to make enough income. All of this contributes to the spread of the virus.

The workload of private healthcare nurses is also higher than public healthcare nurses. Private healthcare nurses look after an average of five more patients a day, while their salaries are 20–25% lower.

Public healthcare spending has been cut 11.2% by the PP since 2009.

Amnesty International has described how a decade of right-wing austerity policies (enacted partly to comply with EU expenditure rules) saw public healthcare spending drop by 11.2% from 2009 to 2018, even as Spain’s GDP grew by 8.6% in part due to a boom in tourism. These cuts left primary care services overstretched, understaffed and underfunded when Covid-19 hit us, with public health workers facing impossible workloads, personal risk, exhaustion and stress.

Private hospitals are still trying to profit off the pandemic.

The private hospitals lobby appears to be using the Covid-19 crisis to further establish and expand the role of the private sector, which will very simply kill off our most vulnerable and marginalised communities, especially people with disabilities, migrants and the elderly.

Right-wing vs. left-wing response:

The Right wants to continue cutting public healthcare and increasing its privatisation. The Left wants to pump money back into public healthcare, stop its privatisation and increase workers’ salaries to avoid them having to emigrate for work.

What are we voting for?

  • No more cuts!
  • No more privatisation!
  • An increase in salaries!
  • To protect public services from the EU’s trade and investment agenda!
  • To increase spending on public health services!

#SanidadPública


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