After being successfully operated on the parotid gland in the Austral Hospital, from Pilar, the Buenos Aires mayor of Quilmes, Mayra Mendoza, received a hard letter from workers self-summoned from the Quilmes hospital in which they ask him for “dialogue” to solve the precariousness of his work situation. And they demanded a commitment “to public health.”
In an open letter published on social networks, the workers denounce that in the Isidoro Iriarte hospital, -which depends on the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, there are “incomplete health teams, lack of personnel and scarce resources.”
At the same time, they assure that “there are no more margins to work in these conditions” and they appeal to the rulers to react “before the Quilmes hospital ends up being an empty shell“.
In the letter, they said they want to trust that “there is some veracity“in the sayings of the camper leader when she refers to the” effort they are making every day to take care of the health of the Quilmeño community. “But they warned that they even suffer from the danger “of collapse” of a flag.
Mayra Mendoza with Cristina Kirchner and the medical staff, after her surgery at the Austral Hospital in Pilar.
The full letter:
“Quilmes has a population that exceeds 600,000 inhabitants and the main hospital in the district is the Hospital Zonal General de Agudos Dr. Isidoro Iriarte, which, despite depending on the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires, has a central role in the community, both in daily health care, as well as in specialties and 24-hour on-call.
The deficiencies of the Primary Health Care Centers (CAPS) or Health Units, or the Oller de Solano Hospital, with incomplete health teams, lack of personnel and scarce resources, lead to the health benefits at its simplest, a direct cause that -for example- the basic care plans are centralized in the Hospital de Quilmes and not where they should be.
However, this reality – which relegates the population from real and universal access to health – becomes a secondary problem compared to the serious problems that afflict the Hospital de Quilmes.
This brief introduction serves to expose an igeneral situation report from our hospital.
Likewise, Mayor Mayra Mendoza, we trust that there is some truth in her statements, when she refers: “We know of the effort that they are making every day and that is why, from the State, we work every day to take care of the health of the Quilmeño community. On this May 25, let us unite under the same flag of solidarity and do not forget that the country continues to be the other ”.
We go on to tell our reality:
1- They will be fulfilled two months with a broken CT, an essential tool to detect Covid pneumonia and other pathologies or injuries. We add that it is an outdated machinery, like all (non-digital) aparotology, whose broken component is due to the great use that was made by the pandemic, with minimal staff, which results in a disproportionate work overload of the service diagnostic imaging.
2- There are serious lack of supplies, medication and instruments: diapers, gloves, cast, needles, antibiotics, insulin, blood thinners, anticonvulsants, saturometers, thermometers, stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors. Also, still no clothes have been delivered from work to different services, despite asking for sizes months ago.
3- Of the five operating rooms, only three work. In addition, a part of the anesthesiology equipment is broken and there are serious shortages of relaxants, inducers and analgesics. The donated Video Laryngoscope that it was stolen long ago, it was never replaced.
4- The ambulances that the hospital owns are in bad shape due to lack of maintenance. The last acquired it has no siren or lights. To this is added that, due to the broken tomograph, ambulances are in permanent motion to take patients to other institutions to perform tomographies, which resulted in a lack of fuel.
5- The shift system is collapsed due to not having the appropriate digital tools or planning to give shifts by phone or WhatsApp. In addition, it has only two functional computers, and the rest works badly.
6- There are landslide danger areas that continue to be used normally. For example, the area of pathogenic waste is located under the old trauma structures, as well as rest areas of different services, despite the fact that the executive director, Juan Fragomeno, and the Provincial Director of Hospitals Dr. Juan Sebastián Riera, made an announcement of enhancement for several million pesos last year. Yet we have not deciphered which sector of the hospital was put in value.
7- The bathrooms for the public have been closed for months, such as those on duty, central hall and pediatrics. Access to the bathroom, patients waiting to be treated and their companions, is a right that is not respected.
8- From the beginning of the pandemic to here, at the Quilmes Hospital the specialties disappeared otolaryngology and allergist. Dermatology and endocrinology services (a single doctor) hang by a thread.
9- The hospital guard works to warm bed, almost always at 100%, so to speak of 92% occupancy is to ignore reality and a serious lack of responsibility.
10- The salary of health personnel is below the poverty line, increasingly sunk by black bonds that are granted to close parities in free fall and that are not even paid on the announced dates. Last year, due to the laziness that nobody talks about, the Quilmes Hospital staff did not receive the voucher stimulus during the first part of the year.
11- Since the beginning of the pandemic, they are vacations and licenses suspended. The lack of appointments In strategic areas, it makes services always work poorly and staff collapse.
12- Polyemployment (two or three jobs, generally poorly paid and precarious) is one of the main reasons for the exhaustion and the conical stress of health personnel.
13- The pharmacy It is on the first floor, which prevents accessibility for people with reduced mobility. We must strive for full compliance with inclusion and human rights policies.
14- The kindergarten does not have enough staff or resources, and the pedagogical projects proposed are not taken into account, despite being a fundamental area for hospital workers.
This open letter, with the connotation of a report – which can be much more detailed because each service is a world, sustained by the efforts of health personnel, whose problems need to be addressed urgently – arises from the lack of responses from the Executive Directorate from the hospital and why margins no longer exist to work in these conditions.
We appeal to your good sense, as part of the political structures that today govern the country, the province and the municipality, before the Quilmes hospital ended up being an empty shell and with minimal health benefits, far from what it once was.
The self-summoned workers of the Hospital de Quilmes not only fight for the necessary wage demands (it goes without saying that since December 2015, until today, state workers we lost 42.4% of purchasing power), but also for a universal, quality and free health system that guarantees true access and meets the demands of the population.
Mayor Mayra Mendoza, we await your response, attentive to seeking solutions and building spaces that allow dialogue, spaces that so far they have been denied“.