Ávila's health management transfers a doctor who joined the mayor of a town to claim decent primary care

Belgium Zambrano has suffered two work accidents in recent months. The first caused him to sprain his neck, but he continued to work. The second aggravated her ailment and then she did have to be off for a few days. Belgium Zambrano is the doctor of Pedro Bernardo, a beautiful municipality of Ávila with 850 inhabitants located in the Sierra de Gredos and known as "El Balcón del Tiétar". Being one of the tourist destinations in Castilla y León, in summer, especially, its population triples and the doctor believes that the hours assigned to her, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is insufficient to serve the entire population with dignity. . Although in reality her day is much more complicated: the doctor, she must start work in the nearby town of Lanzahíta, where the health center depends on her. She stays there from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. “doing nothing”, according to what she says, to later go to Pedro Bernardo where she consults until two in the afternoon. She once she finishes her, she returns to Lanzahíta to be there between 2 and 3 pm. "It's an absurd schedule and a waste of time, because with so many comings and goings, you rob the Health Service and your patients of nearly four hours a day of work, between one thing and another," laments the doctor to this newsroom.

That is why a whole pilgrimage of petitions began before various instances so that they would let her fulfill a continuous schedule only in Pedro Bernardo, the Health Center for which she was hired five months ago. In her fight, she was supported by the mayor of the municipality, David Segovia Muñoz, who from the beginning thought that "the doctor's request was much more reasonable." So he helped her make arrangements for that purpose when he verified that it was Zambrano herself who wanted to break with that dynamic and she was willing to extend the schedule. “It is not understood that a doctor is doing nothing for 8 to 10 hours when he could be spending the whole morning consulting here,” considers the alderman.

However, his insistent requests have ended with the worst possible outcome: Avila's Primary Care Manager, Ana Arconada, has ordered his transfer to another health center in the area as of July 1.

His decision was transmitted to Belgium Zambrano by video call in which, like any explanation, they told him that his position in the Pedro Bernardo Health Center should be occupied by another doctor who had greater rights to the position. The doctor received the news with stupor and sadness. She does not hesitate to consider that it is a "boycott" against her and a retaliation for raising her complaint to various instances of Castilla y León, an autonomy now governed in coalition by the PP and Vox.

Two hours in the center of Lanzahíta, “sitting, without anything being born”

Belgium Zambrano, of Ecuadorian origin and Spanish nationality, began consulting in Pedro Bernardo last February, filling the position that had been without a title for a long period of time. The Junta de Castilla y León hired her for a year with the intention of renewing her after her in her position, but "this has not been fulfilled" and the doctor has been dismissed from her position, regrets the mayor. Zambrano comes from Castilla-La Mancha-she lives in Talavera de la Reina (Toledo)-and since then she comes and goes daily to her workplace.

The problem and his complaint are the hours he was assigned, like his other colleagues from health centers in the area: from 8 in the morning to 10 he works in the center of Lanzahíta, two hours during which he says he is “ sitting, doing nothing” although theoretically she should spend that time doing “retraining courses and training talks”. “But since I started my job nothing has been called and I lose those two hours. I do nothing, ”she laments. Then he travels the twelve kilometers to Pedro Bernardo in his car, where he consults from approximately 10 in the morning until two in the afternoon, to return again to Lanzahíta and finish his day there at three in the afternoon. afternoon.

The doctor sent a letter to the Ávila Primary Care Management to be allowed to work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. only in Pedro Bernardo to properly attend to its inhabitants and all those who come to spend the holidays or the summer season. She even asked for advice from the Ávila College of Physicians. But there has been no way, all her attempts have been in vain.

Faced with this situation, the spoon-maker mayor himself - a name with which the inhabitants of the town are known for the craftsmanship demonstrated for the manufacture of spindles and wooden spoons -, [un edil en la actualidad no adscrito, proveniente del XAV, una escisión del PP], decided several weeks ago to intervene and lead the protests to get the doctor to extend her hours. He was joined by the councilor of Lanzahíta, José Miguel Gómez. The two aldermen, says Segovia Muñoz, also asked the Provincial Manager, Ana Arconada, for this extension of hours, but they denied it on the grounds that the one they currently have [de 10 a 14 h] it is enough and it would be setting a precedent since other municipalities would then demand the same. In addition, they reminded them that during the two hours that the doctors are in the center of Lanzaíta they must take “retraining courses”. However, Dr. Zambrano insists over and over again to this newsroom that "there are no talks or courses within a monthly or weekly schedule."

Moreover, according to Zambrano, it was she, moreover, who requested upon arrival that these medical talks be given at the Lanzahíta Health Center. And although she was initially told “that these were science fiction things”, later she was appointed head of Continuing Education. After making a calendar for this purpose and giving the first talk, she was finally told that she could not continue with them "until after the month of October."

A tension that was growing

The doctor herself was also the one who requested in early June, in an email, to the Health Service Management that they "reconsider" her schedule, explaining the two accidents she had suffered. But the Manager responds and informs her that she "does not authorize" her request, summoning her to a face-to-face meeting a few days later with the entire Lanzahíta Primary Care team and the Primary Care Medical Directorate, an appointment that Zambrano was unable to attend. being low.

The case was raised, according to the councilman of Pedro Bernardo, to the Territorial Delegate of the Junta de Castilla y León, José Francisco Hernández, -who has just been ratified in office after participating in the recent regional elections-, to whom communicate the situation. His response, according to Segovia Muñoz's version, was that “the more consultation hours, the better”. This gave rise to the councilor announcing on the social networks of the Pedro Bernardo City Council the extension of the consultation hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The doctor “very happy with the news” then calls the administration of the health center and asks that they open the schedule on her computer from 8:00 to 15:00. "But, to her surprise, they deny him saying that he needs authorization from the Ávila Management," explains the mayor.

The atmosphere grew warmer as the days passed. In another tense meeting held last Tuesday of the Health Council of the area, in which the mayors of the affected municipalities participated; the medical director and manager of Primary Care; the director of the Lanzahíta Health Center, and several union representatives, among other people, the mayor of Pedro Bernardo warns Arconada that he wants "proof of those training and recycling courses" since the doctor insists on saying that during those hours "does nothing". He also laments the employment situation of the toilets, with contracts and "precarious salaries" and hard working hours.

The notification of the transfer to another health center in the province by Arconada reached Zambrano this Friday and caused the doctor an anxiety crisis for which she had to be treated at the hospital.

This Monday, at 1:30 p.m., the mayor himself has called a rally in support of the doctor "so that she continues among us" at the door of the Pedro Bernardo outpatient clinic, a rally that he has previously notified in writing to the Territorial Delegation and Sub-delegation of the Junta de Castilla y León. The statement also indicates that the City Council has promoted a collection of signatures to send them to Ávila Management "to protest her dismissal and not remove her from her position in Pedro Bernardo."

“Now we all have to be together and fight for healthcare because we love our doctor, for the commitment and attention she has towards all the spoon patients. We are waiting for you all at 1:30 p.m. at the door of Pedro Bernardo's office!

In turn, Belgium Zambrano has asked that this letter be read after the concentration in its support:

“Actually I am not the main objective of this call that has been voluntarily generated, a grateful community and with the principle of defending their rights to have a better quality of health care.

But defaming someone who perceives flaws in a system they want to improve by being proactive is an act of persecution. And in the face of this, I am within my just right to maintain my good actions and ensure that the honor of my name is respected.

I have requested from the respective administrative directorates the hours of operation from 8 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon for care at the Pedro Bernardo medical center, a request that I justify due to the population density of said community in search of greater coverage and improve the care provided to patients, but this request was denied and then I was transferred to a different place of work for the one for which I was hired and administrative methods that were not yet very clear were used.

Thus generating a discomfort in the community, during which time I have been working as a doctor at this center in question, we have developed different training activities that have involved the community, maintaining an empathy that today you see reflected in this extraordinary group of patients. It was good for her to thank you for your courtesy and congratulate the community for their courage to defend their rights and the gesture of solidarity with me", concludes the letter from the doctor, who wishes and hopes that her case will be resolved and they will leave her attend "with dignity" to the population of Pedro Bernardo.

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