Podem Catalunya wants to express its outrage at the behavior of the right, Spanish and Catalan, in the face of the health crisis we are experiencing. Weeks ago the population was asked for an effort of unity and solidarity to face the emergency situation, and this call had a massive response. This behavior has not spread to the political sector of the right, which, instead of collaborating and showing institutional loyalty, has put sticks to the wheels and has not met its responsibilities.
Likewise, Podem wants to express its rejection of the Government of Catalonia for its attitude and inactivity in the face of the serious problems that are happening. Despite the fact that the coronavirus health crisis has surprised everyone by its magnitude, we cannot ignore that the increasing privatization that JuntsxCat has carried out in recent years has only aggravated the situation:
Between 2009 and 2018, Catalonia was the autonomous community that cut its social spending the most (health, education and social services), dedicating 19.9% less, which translates into 4,134 million euros less.
Inequality has increased and the Generalitat has systematically breached its own Guaranteed Income Law, which should help to alleviate poverty, denying 80% of applications.
Since Artur Mas came to power in 2010, investment in healthcare has been cut year after year by 27.51%, with a total headcount of 5,993 million euros. Although we have overcome the 2009 crisis, investment has never recovered to tripartite levels.
Catalonia is one of the autonomous communities with the least investment per capita in healthcare. In addition, it has one of the most privatized healthcare systems in Spain, after Madrid. In Catalonia, 69% of hospitals are in private hands, which means 56% of beds.
It is evident that this increasing privatization has reduced very important resources in public health, which is exactly what is responding to the coronavirus crisis. But, despite this, the Government of the Generalitat not only does not accept its responsibility, but also does not remedy it in serious moments like the one we are experiencing. We are still waiting for data on the number of beds and the resources that private healthcare has put at the service of the population. The Spanish Government has legislated in such a way that all private healthcare resources are transferred to public management and, even so, we know that there are layoffs of healthcare personnel to private companies.
Likewise, the nursing homes, Gent Gran, have been privatized, undermining human and material resources, and without control by the Generalitat. In Catalonia, only the Catalan employers in the sector, ACRA (Catalan Association of Healthcare Resources), a Catalan subsidiary of the Business Circle for People Care (CEAPs), has 445 companies and entities: it provides 1,052 services, it has 42,530 places, 41,018 workers and workers and 170,600 people served. According to 2016 ACRA data, of the 57,000 Catalan residential places, only 5,000 were managed directly by the Generalitat. A meager and scandalous 9%.
Now, with the coronavirus crisis, people admitted to these residences are paying the consequences. In Barcelona, of the 213 killed by the virus, 54 were in nursing homes. And in Catalonia more than 150 elderly people admitted to residences have died.
Before the coronavirus crisis, workers have already denounced the lack of personnel and resources to meet the needs of residents. As a consequence, it is not surprising that now the number of infected and dead has increased and that, in addition, the staff repeatedly complain about the lack of medical supplies.
Podem Catalunya considers that, in such a complicated moment, the Government of the Generalitat should collaborate as much as possible with the rest of the Administrations and not question all the measures implemented by the central government. For all these reasons, Podem Catalunya urges the Government of the Generalitat to set aside partisan interests and to resolve the demands and needs that the moment demands.