Some 20,000 protesters marched through Sevilla on Sunday, converging on the Plaza de España to rally against inaction in resolving bottlenecks and eliminating corrupt practices in the regional public healthcare system in Andalucía, governed by the conservative Partido Popular (PP) after ousting the regional Socialist party from power in a shock upset in December 2018 regional elections.
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The latest in a series of protests convened since 2016 by the Justicia por la Sanidad (Justice for Healthcare) platform and led by Jesús Candela, a doctor from Granada who goes by the moniker of “Spiriman”, Sunday’s rally was and focused on what organizers said is the current PP government’s failure to address problems in healthcare delivery in Spain’s southernmost region, despite the conservative party’s 2018 election campaign promises that it would fix the system.
Candela and others speaking at the protest rally said that the PP and its allies in governing Andalucía, the centre-right Ciudadanos and ultra-right VOX parties, appeared to be bent on letting the regional healthcare system deteriorate so that they can use the argument of the need to create efficiencies in order carry out an “undercover privatizacion” of the system.
According to the protesters, the regional healthcare system under the PP “functions worse than it did under Susana Díaz”, the former Socialist party regional president. The PP government, they said, has done nothing to rid the system of the outsourcing of hospital and clinic operations through private chiringuito concessions that were doled out as part of the political patronage system under the previous Socialist government.
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