ANDALUCIA’S health authority Servicio Andaluz de Salud (SAS) appears to have followed the US and UK health services in trying to gag healthcare workers from speaking out about the lack of protective medical equipment.
Health workers have complained that they have been told not to share videos or messages demonstrating a lack of protective medical equipment to deal with coronavirus (Covid-19) on social media.
SAS’s Managing Director Miguel Angel Guzman is reported to have written to all its 101,978 staff – health and non-health professionals – working in hospitals and health centres across the region, stressing that they could not talk about data regarding coronavirus patients. He reminded staff that it’s their “obligation” to keep activity regarding Covid-19 patients, including the use of materials, “secret.”
Many professionals are said to be demotivated because there are around 1,949 health workers in Andalucia diagnosed with the coronavirus, representing 23.4 per cent of the total number of people infected in the region, compared to the national average of around 14 per cent.
According to Spain’s El Mundo, one health professional said that he had made a video wearing the home-made protective garments made by a neighbour due to lacking medical equipment, to show his gratitude. However, he said he was not allowed to share it due to pressure from his managers.
The health department has said it is surprised to hear of complaints regarding lack of equipment because it said “there are now enough masks in all of the hospitals in the whole of the region.” However, the nurse in question has claimed that this is not the case. For now, SAS has not taken any disciplinary action against any member of staff for sharing images/videos of lacking protective medical equipment.