Marina Carrasco made the Malaga – Madrid journey on April 4. Raisa Simón, from Extremadura, on March 21. They are nurses and they traveled in the worst of the pandemic to help in a Community that has endured the greatest thrashing of the virus. The covid-19 arrived in the region on February 25 and until this Thursday it leaves 65,659 positives, 3,377 people who have needed intensive care, 13,321 dead, and also 36,707 cured. To deal with these exorbitant figures, it was necessary to exhaust the pool of professionals, call students and retirees and recruit from other regions: 8,620 reinforcement contracts.
Now, with the curve flattening out, the Ayuso government not only refuses to guarantee the current volume of staff for the next few months, but is failing to deliver on what was promised in advance. “I don’t understand it, why are other communities like Andalusia or Castilla-La Mancha going to support all those who have worked during the pandemic and Madrid not?” Asks Simón. She and Carrasco had a commitment of three months of work, but it has not happened for either.
Carrasco spent the month of April at the Marriot, one of the medicalized hotels that the Community opened, dependent on the Príncipe de Asturias University Hospital. He did it without seeing that document, going to the hospital several times to see what was happening – “he was never prepared,” he says – and when they finally gave it to him on Wednesday, the end date was for the following day, this April 30: “They told me until June 30. If I had known it was for a month, I would not have come. We feel cheated and used. Like me, many other people leave everything to come and help. ” They have contacted the Satse Nursing union, which is helping them on the journey they are now beginning.
Why are other communities like Andalusia or Castilla-La Mancha going to support all those who have worked during the pandemic and Madrid not?
Raisa Simón, nurse displaced from Extremadura
In Malaga, Carrasco was under an ERTE in a private hospital, he resigned from it. “If the hotel closed, they assured us that we would be relocated to the hospital. Yesterday [por el martes] They tell us that the hotel closes and we cut our contracts. We were never advised that they would be subject to other conditions. Until June 30, they were clear. ” Raisa Simón, A colleague at the Carrasco Marriott, she signed a pre-contract with an end date for June 22, also resigning another position in Castilla-La Mancha: “Now they tell me that May 15 will be the last day.”
Like them, dozens of toilets have been in the region since last March; travel, subsistence and accommodation paid by the Community. “There are a total of 35 hotels in Madrid, welcoming all of us among the medicalized and those that are for staff. We have been at Crowne Plaza airport and B&B Hotels all this time, we have felt very cared for. Not the same with working conditions ”, specifies Carrasco.
They are not the only “irregularities” that they denounce. They affirm that they have not been subjected to PCR or rapid antibody tests and that now, for their departure, they are going to do “a capillary test with rather null reliability”, explains Simón: “Based on that, they will test us or not”. They also assure that the contracts to many colleagues have been made every 15 days during the pandemic, something that several of these professionals from different hospitals in Madrid corroborate and believe that it is because that is the incubation time for the virus. “Thus,” explains Carrasco, “if you become infected, if you don’t renew you, they have enough, you don’t have to pay casualties.
Professionals denounce works that end earlier than agreed, contracts of 15 to 15 days and lack of PCR and antibody test
The protests don’t stop there. In the ER, for example, they have also been precarious for years. A doctor of that specialty tells that she has four in the same hospital and in that time she has signed 25 contracts, “approximately every two months”. The last, for reinforcement by covid-19, was until this April 30 “and now it seems that there is an extension until May 17.” “Thank you,” he ironic.
“We are not heroes, it is our job”
The words of the toilets have been repeated in recent weeks: “We are not heroes, it is our job”, “we are moved and we appreciate the applause, but we ask that this recognition also come from those who govern and give the budget for public health”, “Hopefully this every afternoon turns into being precarious and ignored by the politicians and their decisions.” April 26 the hashtag #mareablancacoronavirus started to move and doctors and nurses warn that once the pandemic has emerged, the strike will occur.
“It cannot be that we need much and suddenly none, and that is what is happening in Madrid. What are they thinking about? Do they no longer need us? ”, Simón sentenced. The answer, given by managers of Madrid hospitals, the professionals themselves and unions, is unanimous: yes. The personnel needs in the coming months of Sermas will be high. Agustín Utrilla, medical director of Ramón y Cajal, pointed it out a few days ago: “We can only cope with what comes with hiring.”
The near future are “the remnants of the pandemic, the pathologies that have been silent in their homes, vacations and permits and the casualties of professionals, the current ones that can last for weeks and those that can come,” says Julián Ordoñez, from UGT. In Madrid there are already more than 10,000 health system professionals who have been or are isolated due to positives or suspicion. They have been warning since the beginning of the crisis of the lack of protection they suffered.
Without agreement with the Madrid government
On Tuesday, the unions met with the Ministry of Health and the request was in chorus: that the current staff be extended, at least, until September. Preferably until the end of the year. Although they did not get the regional government to agree to it, there were some advances that Ordóñez explains: “As of April 30, some instructions are left behind, such as the cancellation of permits and licenses and vacations, which had greatly reduced the rights of workers ” Julián Ezquerra, from Amyts, assures that the commitment was that all the April contracts be extended to May 31: “And that seemed, but it certainly collides with what is happening, that there are those who are being terminated even earlier” .
To this, Ezquerra adds Primary Care: “It is essential to reinforce it, to monitor patients with covid-19 and chronic patients, many of them exacerbated after this crisis due to being at home. It is asking from all the organisms that the Primary be a bulwark in this epidemic and in Madrid it has been diminished for years ”. They ask, “at a minimum”, that the 223 family doctors who finish their residency this May be hired. “Also the other specialties, if you have to work morning and afternoon so that waiting lists do not skyrocket and to not close beds and operating rooms, you need personnel,” he warns.
For the moment, the only thing that has been ripped from the Ministry of Health is that “those who did not enter by bag – a list accessed by hospitals to hire Primary, Pediatric, Nursing and Administration professionals – and now their contracts are ending, enter that bag ”, says Rosa Cuadrado, from Comisiones Obreras. But he insists that “it is inexplicable” that they do not want to maintain the reinforcement: “There is no argument against that need.”
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