The manager of the Santa Marina hospital and former councilor of the PNV recorded himself skipping the protocol to be vaccinated against COVID-19


The video is 129 seconds long, edited, and has background music. It starts with an image of the entrance to the Santa Marina Hospital in Bilbao and collects the vaccination of its professionals from the arrival of the doses in a container from Bexen Medical, the company that preserves them, until the puncture itself. At minute 1.09, the only person of all those who receive it appears who wears a suit and tie. Behind the mask is José Luis Sabas, an architect by profession and manager of the hospital center. The montage gives the feeling that it was planned and deliberate.

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Sabas, before directing Santa Marina, a center in which COVID-19 has had a great impact due to the profile of its patients, was responsible for the administrator of railway infrastructures of Euskadi (ETS) and previously still a councilor for the PNV in Bilbao. Since it became known that he and the manager of the other hospital in Bilbao, the former councilman Eduardo Maíz, joined other political or military positions in Spain who had skipped the queue, Sabas has made an effort by land, sea and air to show that his vaccination was not irregular and that he even had the approval of the Minister of Health, Gotzone Sagardui, who this Wednesday will be forced to give explanations in Parliament before friendly fire. So much so that he closed an interview on local television to counter-program Sagardui, who was also a mayor in Bilbao, although at a later time.

The environment of Sabas wields a conversation by Whastapp with Sagardui in which, always according to his version, the head of Basque Health gave the go-ahead for him and the entire Santa Marina staff to be vaccinated. The counselor has already denied it publicly and will do so again in Parliament. Faced with the suggestion of some opposition groups that he should resign, he has the explicit support of the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, who publicly has expressed his “anger” and “sadness” for what happened. The version of the facts is that nobody can interpret that when Sabas raised the immunization of the entire hospital, the managers were included. “Executive positions do not enter into this protocol,” stressed Urkullu when asked about this matter in a press conference shared on Tuesday with Sagardui.

The second case is that of Corn. Initially, it was explained that the simplest situation was that of Sabas, because he had resigned ‘motu proprio’ after making him see the irregularity committed. Basurto’s manager was vaccinated on January 3 at 10:00 p.m. It was Sunday. At that time the vaccination plan for health workers was not even designed. He was immunized with ‘culillos’ from Pfizer doses for Basque residences, where almost 1,000 people have died and where outbreaks have continued to appear after the vaccination campaign has begun. He resisted leaving office. By dates, this weekend he had to receive the second dose. Sagardui has explained that no one will be denied the serum, whether or not the first puncture is irregular, but Osakidetza does not confirm that this has been the case with Maíz for reasons of “confidentiality” of the medical acts.

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Meanwhile, the LAB union has filed a complaint with the Bilbao guard court for an investigation into whether this irregular vaccination may constitute a crime. He specifically cites prevarication or even embezzlement. “It is a scarce good, inaccessible to individuals without the intervention of the Administration, and of extraordinary value,” alleges the union, which emphasizes that it is not the exact value of what the State has paid for each dose but rather the social impact of what happened.

LAB also denounced the irregularities in the 2018 Osakidetza oppositions and he continues to be a person in the cause, of which he has become one of its main promoters. He assures that they go to ordinary Justice because of that case they came out without “confidence” that the announced internal investigation will reach the end. “We demand an impartial investigation that clarifies how the events occurred, that clarifies all kinds of responsibilities and that clarifies whether this practice has occurred in other OSIs [Organizaciones Sanitarias Integradas]”, influence from the central in a statement.

According to Sagardui, Osakidetza will investigate all vaccines administered to health workers to check if they conform to the set protocols. In the first place, it was established that it would be received by professionals from “first line” teams against COVID-19, such as UCI teams. Both the lehendakari and the councilor – “out of respect for Parliament” – have not given details of this analysis to the media and it is expected that it will be in the Chamber when Sagardui reports on the data collected.

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