Madrid is inaugurating in just a few days its widely announced Isabel Zendal emergency hospital, the flagship measure of the government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
A center that the Regional Executive plans to open “gradually”, with which initially only 240 of its 1,000 beds will be deployed, as well as 16 intensive care stations and 32 intermediate care stations.
To attend only this first pavilion, the new pandemic hospital needs 669 professionals, including doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other health workers. However, for the moment, the Community of Madrid has only managed to recruit around 100 volunteers to fill these positions, far from those it needs to open the doors of Zendal on December 1.
The Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, confirmed this Thursday to laSexta that there were 111 professionals of the Madrid Health Service (SERMAS) who met the requirements of the voluntary assignment process, whose term of office ended November 22.
Regarding the missing posts, the advisor indicated that the Community will use the reinforcement contracts it has concluded to fight the pandemic. “We will terminate all these COVID contracts that we have,” he said, adding that the region has 11,600 of these contracts.
Three working days to find more than 500 professionals
A solution that the workers’ committees consider “surreal”, as the union organization at LaSexta indicates, since these contracts “aim precisely to strengthen the staff” of the rest of the hospitals in the region.
Yesterday, the trade union organization described it as “unheard of” that the Díaz Ayuso government intends to find the 558 professionals it needs to attend the wing which will open on Tuesday in just three working days. This Thursday, they reiterate that “in this period the selection of personnel will not be adequate”.
In this sense, union sources explain that, given the fact that there were not enough volunteers, the Ministry of Health summoned them yesterday to a new meeting, possibly on Monday, to reach an agreement on the how this model will be completed, for which temporary staff from the rest of the hospitals could be used (until now only permanent and temporary staff could volunteer).
However, CCOO considers that “it is not acceptable that 24 hours after the opening of the hospital” this selection process is still pending.
In addition, they recall that the unions defend the hiring of “new people, that the staff will not be removed from the rest of the hospitals” to the staff of Isabel Zendal, especially when the centers “already have their staff very degraded because of losses due to COVID “, which are around 1,500 in the Community of Madrid.
Regardless of the unknown where the missing personnel will come from by Tuesday, they denounce that the regional government did not deliver the emergency plans, the security assessment and the risk prevention before the opening of the new center. “Maybe it will open without an emergency evacuation plan”, they reproach.
Ruiz Escudero himself stressed today that the volunteers who join the new hospital need prior “training”, because it has “another model of hospitalization”. This leaves an even narrower margin for the first 240 beds to be operational on Tuesday, while there will be an inauguration ceremony which Minister Salvador Illa refused to attend.