A bus voucher and a bag: the tools to study waste in the Islands

This stamp will be repeated on Mondays and Tuesdays indefinitely until September, when the strike ends. And they have not extended it to more times a week because "if not, work would not leave." It is one of the pressure measures that they have undertaken to try to get the Administration to listen to them and stop delaying a possible solution to their demands. In the first week of implementation, the measure has motivated images such as samples losing cold before reaching the laboratory or the issuance of sanction records in the middle of nowhere. The lack of resources that sanitary inspectors have suffered for more than a decade has been the trigger for the conflict with the Administration. The problems not only come as a consequence of a lack of updated material to the current times, but this shortage is extensible to human resources and means of transport. The inspectors have been since 2007 warning of these to the different advisers who have passed through the Health Administration. However, none have solved their problems.

The Ministry of Health will seek solutions to the problem but not before June 21


The socialist Teresa Cruz Oval, former Minister of Health, upon hearing their demands, among which is an increase in the price of mileage (go from 0.19 to at least 0.36 euros per kilometer) or the payment of the taxi, was the one that gave them the possibility of paying for the bus. In fact, several technicians asked the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) to reimburse the taxi bill after refusing to continue using their car, which they were denied.

In this second phase of the socialist legislature, in which Blas Trujillo has taken the baton of the Ministry of Health, there have been many meetings with those affected, but none fruitful. The last communication between both parties was that of Friday, May 28, through a letter that tried to paralyze the strike that would begin on May 31. The communication, signed by the director of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), Conrado Domínguez, stated that solutions to the problem would be sought, but that it would not be before June 21. The Canary Islands Inspectors Association considers it "unacceptable" that Health is still asking for more time to correct the deficiencies with which the body has had to work for more than a decade, despite recurring warnings.

An inspector opens a sanction certificate in the middle of nowhere. | | ED

Professionals and means are lacking. The Archipelago has one professional of these characteristics for every 25,000 inhabitants, half that of the rest of Spain, where the average rate is one for every 12,000 inhabitants. Regarding material means, workers go to many services with three simple tools: "thermometer, chlorimeter and pen", if not with a simple bag or a cooler that others would use to take lunch to work. To this is added the inability of the Administration to solve a historical need: to provide workers with an agile transport to carry out their inspections.

The Tenerife office is so small that inspectors must take turns to be able to work


But the shortcomings transcend material or human measurements. In Tenerife, for example, the 44 inspectors on the staff share a single office in which there are barely seven positions. If the situation arose where half of them arrived at the same time, they would have to take turns working. And indeed, they often do. In Gran Canaria, the offices are in a poor state, as can be seen with a simple glance at the blinds that can hardly cover the light, because they are totally dilapidated.

The inspectors' demands

Human Resources

Replenishment of troops

  • The corps of inspectors in the Canary Islands is staffed by 125 professionals, who can be either veterinary or pharmacy specialists. This template has not been extended since 2007. The Canary Islands are at the tail of the number of troops per inhabitant.

Material resources

Plastic bags and pen

  • The lack of material means is another of the obstacles that inspectors face when carrying out their work. They work with a thermometer, chlorimeter and pen. And now, instead of a fridge, with bags.


Small and old

  • The offices in which these professionals are located are not large enough to house all the staff and, furthermore, they are poorly maintained.


At 4:00 to the slaughterhouse

  • Tenerife inspectors emphasize that slaughterhouse inspectors must go to their work station at 4:00 in the morning, despite the fact that their day begins at 8:00.


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