Until 126,486 toilets They have been infected since the Covid-19 health crisis began. Most were infected early in the pandemic, when, without protective equipment, they faced a relentless fight against the disease. In a critical situation, the Government did not provide them with PPE, not even something as basic as masks or gowns, which they ‘made’ themselves out of garbage bags. In its update on infections, the Ministry of Health, in addition to the data of infected in this group, the breakdown of where they are infected. That is, if they do it outside the hospital, such as at home or in the “social sphere”.
Health, in its attempt to dilute responsibilities, has insisted on the argument that health workers are not only infected in the health centers where they work, but also outside these. In fact, in the middle of the crisis of the first wave, the Ministry already alleged “different factors” for the contagion, noting in its reports that “in the initial phase of knowledge of the disease, although community transmission was nonexistent or very low, the Ignorance of the transmission of the infection from asymptomatic cases could generate cases among health workers unduly protected ”.
In addition, it also highlighted that “in a scenario of sustained community transmission, even with sufficient means To protect themselves in the workplace, health workers could also have contracted the infection in the community or in the health center in areas where they did not use protective equipment. The department – then headed by Salvador Illa – tried to blame the «Weight of intrafamily and community transmission, in addition to the intrahospital », in an attempt to divert the focus from their responsibility for not providing professionals with sufficient and adequate protective equipment. Different health groups filed complaints against the Government for leaving them unprotected against the virus.
In May, in the midst of the crisis due to the shortage of protective equipment, the Valencian Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, outraged these professionals by assuring that they had been infected “by traveling or seeing their relatives.” “It may also be that a professional has been infected in his own center,” he concluded. Faced with criticism, he tried to back down. “When asked about the source of contagion in professionals I have commented that the contagion may have occurred in different ways, also due to exposure in the front line, I feel that it has been interpreted in another way,” he apologized, warmly, their social networks.
Complaints and complaints
In November, General Council of the Medical Associations -which groups the 52 Medical Associations of Spain- claimed the immediate cessation of Fernando Simón “due to his manifest and prolonged disability throughout the evolution of the pandemic by Covid-19” and expressed his discomfort at some statements in which he stated that “health workers have a better behavior avoiding being infected outside their space of job”.
«It is not the first time that we have been expressing our discomfort at the inappropriate statements and actions of Fernando Simón. Affirmations such as that all the diagnostic tests were being carried out on the close contacts of infected health workers in the healthcare teams in stages with a high incidence of professional infections, the implementation of guidelines for returning to work without guarantees for the professional or the citizen , clear discrepancies on the situation of the pandemic and the measures to be taken, and above all, the absence of an Expert Committee composed of recognized professionals, independent and transparent, as well as the absence of an evaluation system to improve the response to outbreaks of Covid-19 in coincidence with other health agents “, denounced the doctors in a statement. Spain is the country with the highest number of infections among healthcare personnel.
Simón’s statements, the health workers collected, “express a manifest ignorance of the working conditions to which we have been subjected (absence of personal protective equipment, lack of diagnostic tests, etc.) and of the responsibility and vocation with which thousands of colleagues are developing their activity from medical professionalism and from close collaborative action with the rest of the health professions ”.