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Andalusian health service criticised for blaming Madrid for its ban on staff speaking out

Part of the letter sent out to staff.
Part of the letter sent out to staff. / SUR
  • The letter sent out this week asked staff to "keep secret" information about their duties during the coronavirus crisis or face possible criminal charges

The Andalusian health service was criticised this week for writing to its staff to tell them not to talk publicly about their treatment of coronavirus patients because of a central government order.

Up to now, the source of much public information on the evolution of the crisis in Spain, including criticism, has come from the real-time accounts of healthcare workers.

The regional bosses, controlled by the conservative PP party, appeared to use the excuse of an order by PSOE-controlled central government to gag health workers. Under the state of alarm, Madrid has taken control from the regions of health-data gathering, which has caused tension between the two levels of government.

The letter (page 1 and page 2) asked staff to "keep secret" information about their duties or face possible criminal charges. But the PSOE said that the government order had been misinterpreted and warned the PP not to play politics with the crisis.