Lessons from Spain

Submitted by AWL on 13 October, 2020 - 4:56
Madrid protest

“I really enjoyed working in the NHS”, said a Spanish nurse quoted by the Financial Times on 7 October.”You get longer holidays, more breaks. And workers’ rights are much better”.

His comment tells us less about excellences in the NHS and more about problems in Spain. Those led big protests on 19-20 September about virus measures in Madrid to demand “More healthcare, fewer police”, and are a factor in why Spain’s hospitals have had great trouble coping with the pandemic, and an exceptionally high number of health workers infected.

Spain’s General Nursing Council says the country is 125,000 nurses short. It has 280,000, which is 5.9 per thousand population when the EU average is 9.3. Spain needs to reverse its cuts and improve its health workers’ pay and conditions. And so does Britain.

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