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Protesters pack the Alameda de Colón on Saturday morning.

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Protesters pack the Alameda de Colón on Saturday morning. Ñito Salas

Thousands of people take to streets to protect public health care in Andalulcía

Demonstrations were held in all of region’s main cities, but there was a particularly strong turnout in Malaga with between seven and eight thousand people taking part

Francisco Gutiérrez

Malaga

Monday, 27 March 2023, 13:27

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Thousands of people took to the streets of Malaga city on Saturday morning calling for the protection of the public healthcare system in the region. Called by the Marea Blanca (white tide) movement, demonstrations took place in all of Andalucía’s major cities.

In Malaga the event it was supported by the UGT, Comisiones Obreras, CGT general unions, the Sindicato Médico de Primaria (SMP), a primary care medical union, and by the political parties PSOE, Podemos, Izquierda Unida, Facua as well as the Sindicato de Estudiantes (students’ union).

The massive demonstration in Malaga, estimated at between seven and eight thousand people, passed from the Alameda de Colón to the Aduana customs house square.

Ana Belén Espejo, one of the spokespersons for Marea Blanca in the city, said they were protesting for a 100 per cent public healthcare, greater investment in primary care and were against the Andalusian government's attempt to privatise healthcare.

The SMP’s Juan José Lillo regretted that the Junta had not listened to their demands. "Since January 20 we have been on indefinite strike, and they have not received us to listen to our demands". He said that the towns "are left without doctors” while his union demands a proper salary with the rest of the primary care doctors in Spain.

Busloads of protesters joined the march from locations such as Teba and Ronda. Three buses with demonstrators came from Teba whose Mayor, Cristóbal Corral, said rural areas were not only preoccupied with hunting or tourism but also “that its citizens have quality health services, that an appointment is not delayed for eight days".

A large number of politicians and trade unionists attended the demonstration in Malaga city. Among them was the PSOE spokesperson and Malaga mayoral candidate, Daniel Pérez, who said that "the people of Malaga wanted to take to the streets to defend public healthcare”.

Pérez accused the regional government of Juanma Moreno of wanting to privatize healthcare. “It is beginning to privatize it little by little, allocating more money to private healthcare, opening the door to private healthcare in primary care".

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