Spain: Thousands demonstrate in favor of primary health care in Madrid

In Madrid, thousands of protesters marched in support of the region’s basic health facilities and warned that any changes to the system would “destroy” local health care. Under the banner “Madrid mobilizes in favor of public health care and against the intention to dismantle primary care services”, massive crowds gathered in four places in the capital.

Primary healthcare services in the Madrid region have reportedly been under enormous pressure for years due to a lack of funding and manpower, the problem being compounded by a sub-par regional administration , according to the unions.

A regional government spokesman who spoke to AFP said there were 200,000 people in the streets, but organizers gave a figure three times higher, saying 650,000 protesters had joined the demonstration.

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“Your health should never depend on your wallet,” reads a huge green banner, while others read: “Health care is not for sale, it must be defended” as thousands of voices demanded the resignation of the right-wing leader of the region, Isabel Diaz. Ayuso.

The protest comes ahead of a strike by nearly 5,000 local pediatricians and regional family physicians set for November 21 in response to overwork, drawn-out appointments and lack of time with patients.”

(With agency contributions)