Neighborhood rebellion in the CAP La Granja de Tarragona

There is still half an hour to 11 o'clock. At the gates of CAP La Granja in Tarragona, Manuel and Jesús hang two banners. In one of them the following motto says: «Public health is not for sale. He defends himself." In the other, "Neighbourhoods of Ponent, for public health." They are fed up. They consider that the attention service in the CAP shows evident shortcomings and that is why they continue to protest week after week.

Manuel Martín is the spokesperson for the Neighborhood Commission of the Barris de Ponent for Public Health. He assures that the time of the waiting lists is unsustainable. "On average, a user has to wait 20 days to be served," he notes.

The spokesman regrets the lack of specialized personnel, family doctors and mental health care. He points out that there is no replacement for retired doctors. And besides, he also considers that there is a lack of means, but also space. "Many years have passed since the foundation of the CAP, the neighborhood has changed and the population has aged," says the neighborhood spokesman.

One point that Martín highlights is that, deep down, many claims that are put on the table from the neighborhood struggle directly affect health personnel. "There are not a few nurses who come to tell us to continue the fight," says the spokesman.

Manuel Corujo is a user of CAP La Granja. “This is not a personal whim of four neighbors,” he comments. Corujo considers that "the precariousness of the service is something that affects the entire Spanish territory."

Jesús Ruiz, another of the attendees and user of the CAP, regrets that "my family doctor retired, and I don't know what the new one is called."

The organizers of the concentration claim to have collected 2,000 signatures that have been delivered to the Head of the Tarragonès health region. They have also asked the Catalan Ombudsman for an investigation into the situation and the service offered at the CAP. According to Manuel Martín, “there is a serious problem of neglect”.

A neighborhood for public health

At the agreed concentration time, attendees organize themselves behind one of the banners to enter the CAP. About 40 neighbors enter punctually through the door of the facilities. They do it in silence so as not to interfere with the work of the health personnel. They reach the lobby and stroll down the main hallway. They stop and read the manifesto.

They demand that the CAP expansion works begin and that the institution be provided with sufficient medical, nursing and administrative personnel. That the gynecologists return to the CAP. That nobody moves to the center and that they leave without being attended. They also ask that the specialists visit morning and afternoon, as many days as necessary to end the long waiting times. These are just some of the demands of the protesters. Some users who assure that they are not going to stop here. For months they have been gathering every week in front of the CAP.

The next call, on October 26. They never fail, but in one of the conversations that some present have, a song of lament is heard. “Young people are missing.” Certainly, the average age of the attendees is high. “When it is their turn to be here, maybe there is no remedy for public health,” they sentence.

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