Publication: Monday, November 30, 2020 10:52
This Tuesday, December 1, Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s flagship measure to deal with the coronavirus crisis is inaugurated. A pandemic hospital located in Valdebebas which arrives surrounded by controversies: it will be inaugurated with a delay – more than a month -, with fewer beds than promised and a little more than 100 toilets out of the nearly 700 planned by the Community of Madrid .
Ayuso has announced that the Isabel Zendal Nursing Hospital will be ready in October and it will not be until Tuesday, December 1, when the center opens its doors. And it will do so by half since only 240 of the 1,000 beds planned will be deployed, as well as 16 intensive care stations and 32 intermediate care stations.
From the Community of Madrid, they assure that the center will open “gradually”, although the figures do not come out: just a day after opening its doors, it has only 111 volunteer health workers – workers who will leave their posts in other hospitals in Madrid to work in Valdebebas-, out of the 669 professionals planned by Madrid.
Madrid’s Health Minister Enrique Ruiz-Escudero assured last week that his department would use staff with COVID boosting contracts to supplement the workforce, another option that hours after its inauguration was not made effective or transferred to trade unions.
From CCOO, they denounce that the government of Madrid has called them to a meeting to inform them of the situation after the inauguration. “Everything indicates that it will not work. It is very symbolic that a meeting is called after the inauguration”, they stress.
During this meeting, they will ask “to go back and hire specific staff to start” the center “without removing the workers from the SERMAS hospital network”.
From the union, they qualify the situation as “surreal” and stress that “it is not acceptable that 24 hours after the opening of the hospital” a staff selection process is underway. 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 about 1,500 in the Community of Madrid.
Ruiz-Escudero has come out of this mess, assuring that he does not believe that on the day of the inauguration there will be many patients in the center. “The opening will be gradual, I don’t think December 1 there will be a lot of patients there,” he said in an interview.
Hospital arrives without emergency plans
From this union, they also denounce that the Ayuso pandemic hospital arrives without emergency plans, safety assessment and risk prevention and recall that the law obliges any company in the sector to provide information on preventive issues “that the Madrid health authorities have not presented. “.
They complain about the absence of an assessment of the work center, nor of a self-protection plan, and “information was not provided to the workers’ representatives on the organization of the work to be carried out in the said center either” .
Protests against Zendal’s “failure”
The Association of Nurses of Madrid (AME), the Movement of the Assembly of Health Workers (MATS), SUMMAT and Juntas x la Pública have called rallies to protest at the inauguration of the hospital against the pandemic for what they see as a “stick”.
The demonstration was called at 11 a.m., time of the opening ceremony, to demand the resignation of Ayuso and protest against possible forced transfers given the lack of personnel with which it will open its doors.