In Galicia, the conservative regional government has embarked upon a healthcare reform path which critics – organised around the platform SOS Sanidade Publica – condemn as a strategy for “turning healthcare into just another commodity“.
The plan, spearheaded by the regional president Alberto Núñez Feijóo, will reorganise regional hospital services to direct medical resources to urban centres, allow for private sector exploitation of publicly funded medical innovations, and restrict citizen participation in the Autonomous Community’s healthcare decision making processes.
These changes, protest organisers say, will restrict regional healthcare access, aid private healthcare centres and hospitals as opposed to public ones, and further cut real public funding of healthcare in the Autonomous Community.
The protest, held Sunday the 4th February, attracted various thousands of people from around Galicia, whose procession through the streets of Santiago de Compostela – beginning in the tree-lined ‘Alameda’, passing through the principal plazas of the city, and ending in the central plaza A Quintana – filled several city blocks as it snailed through the city.
The protest was organised by a host of opposition groups, including socialist, far-left, new-left, and nationalist political parties, together with a number of trade unions and various citizens collectives from around Galicia organised in defence of public healthcare and welfare.
The multitudinous march sounds the war horns to mark the beginning of the political battle which will culminate in the 2019 municipal elections. The elections will determine the political future of Spain’s Autonomous Communities and provinces, and the future of Galicia’s contended healthcare reform bill.
Subscribe to Lives and and Times…
Writing on the World Around Us…