June 18, 2021

Coronavirus in the Canary Islands: Professionals facing the epidemic – La Provincia


The Official College of Physiotherapists of the Canary Islands (COFC) has asked the Regional Government Ministry of Health to request the Ministry of Health to close all the physiotherapy centers in the Archipelago for not being able to guarantee that there is no coronavirus spread between physiotherapists and patients since they do not have the protection material, such as masks, gowns, hydroalcoholic solutions and gloves, following the line followed by the General Council of Colleges of Physiotherapists in Spain.

In this sense, Santiago Sánchez, president of the COFC, asks for legal security in the actions of the group “because the order of the Ministry dictates that the comrades have to be open, but we lack the supply of protective equipment, making it difficult to procure a safe assistance. That is why we request the closure of the centers. ” According to Sánchez there is also an economic question. “The occupational safety of physiotherapists is in a vacuum. The closure has not been decreed, but they cannot work because they do not believe that they can provide all the clinical safety according to the risk-benefit criteria, with the uniqueness of our work that implies a closeness for a time maintained with the patient and physical contact, lacking the protective equipment that prevents the infection from professionals and, above all, from patients “. “There are many colleagues who have not been ordered to close and, therefore, we do not know if they will be able to avail themselves of the ERTE figure. Therefore, they are still open without income. Many are self-employed and others have hired staff who are not they can pay the payrolls. “

On the other hand, “in the Royal Decree of the State of Alarm, we are not named as one of the professions that must continue to function. In view of this doubt, we have consulted the Ministry without obtaining a response, and the Ministry also refers us to it. a double interpretation: the literal one of the Royal Decree or the one of the order of the Ministry in which a medical center is equated with anyone in which there are health professionals, which would include us, so we are obliged to open up lacking material and affluence of patients because most have postponed care for fear of contagion and we only have those who have a fairly serious pathology and require immediate attention. ” “Some colleagues, seeing that they cannot attend their duties with all the guarantees, have closed on their own initiative.”

If closure is decreed, physical therapists will need a livelihood. “We understand that they will have the same access to state aid as the rest of the activities that have been decreed not to open. If not, there will not be enough income to keep the centers open because activity drops markedly and remains around 5 or 10% of the usual attendance “.

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