The managers believe that a judge cannot decide on a pandemic and ask for a legal framework

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The Covid-19 management it has had markedly political overtones. States of alarm imposed on Autonomous Communities, vaccines that are not they prodded state security forces for a private administration, courts of justice that delegitimized health decisions … An image that has overshadowed the work of political managers and that, in their opinion, would not have happened if there were a “law of Spanish Public Health “.

This is how they defended it during the round table, Lessons from Covid-19, what has health policy learned?, the former general secretaries of Public Health, José Martínez Olmos and Javier Castrodeza, and the deputy councilor of the Government of Madrid, Antonio Zapatero.

Accompanied by Frédéric Valletoux, President of the French Hospital Federation, Spanish Public Health politicians and doctors have confronted the shortcomings and benefits of the single and centralized health management of the French model compared to the Spanish system.

7. Lessons from Covid-19, what has health policy learned?

During the celebration of ‘II Health Observatory Symposium: The Lessons of Covid-19 ‘, organized by EL ESPAÑOL and Invertia, Antonio Zapatero, Deputy Minister of Health Assistance and Public Health in the Government of Madrid with Isabel Diaz Ayuso, and Javier Castrodeza, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and former Secretary General of Health and Consumption with the Government of Mariano Rajoy, have agreed on the need for a legal framework that does not take away freedoms from Spaniards but coordinates responses.

“It does not make sense that a judge has to decide on a medical pandemic,” Zapatero claimed. Castrodeza has gone further and has spoken of a “revision” of the legal system of Spain that, in his opinion, “should consider dimensions of this depth so that our operation was different.”

Idea that has matched José Martínez Olmos, Professor of Public Health and former Secretary General of Health with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as Prime Minister, although he regretted that, as the political landscape is, “it is difficult to achieve.”

“The decisions to be taken in relation to vaccines must have scientific evidence. We have to be aware that it is good that health policy has the value of good policy and our objective is consensus,” he defended.

Javier Castrodeza, former Secretary General of Health.

Javier Castrodeza, former Secretary General of Health.

Esteban Palazuelos / Jesús Umbría

Thus the things, the one that was senator by the PSOE and manager of Public Health during the crisis of the flu a He recalled that the same legal framework that exists now was in place when that health crisis and, at that time, consensus was reached.

“The legal framework can be improved, but it is not the determining factor,” he added, recognizing, in turn, the importance of changing the legal framework so that the Ministry’s decisions are unique. Something that, in his opinion, requires a political agreement that “is not tangible at this time.”

José Martínez Olmos, former Secretary General of Health.

José Martínez Olmos, former Secretary General of Health.

Esteban Palazuelos / Jesús Umbría

It was precisely Castrodeza who, in his time at the Ministry of Dolores de Montserrat tried to change the ‘power’ of the Interterritorial to give legislative value to its decisions. “We try to give it another approach, but the pandemic has passed and its regulations dating from 2003 have not yet been modified,” he lamented.

One of the speakers who has ‘suffered’ the most from the lack of a legislative framework has been Antonio Zapatero. Since the management of the pandemic in the Community of Madrid, the doctor has assured that, in the absence of a law, Spain has seen how judges made health decisions.

It is precisely this perspective of unique and regulated measures that has been experienced in France. Frédéric Valletoux has bet on the usefulness of centralism when it is necessary to mobilize health professionals or “charter planes to transfer patients.” Even so, it has also pointed out shortcomings such as the impossibility that the French Government had to acquire masks during the first wave and which the large municipalities did not face.

Covid-19 passport

With a vaccination percentage that exceeds 70%, the speakers also wanted to discuss the use of the Covid-19 passport to access enclosures, as in France. The representative of French hospitals has defended this measure, assuring that they intend to continue using this “flexible tool” to respond to future health crises.

Antonio Zapatero.

Antonio Zapatero.

Esteban Palazuelos / Jesús Umbría

On the contrary, Spanish managers have questioned its usefulness and linked it to the future of the pandemic. That is, the vaccine effectiveness and its future mutations. Martínez Olmos has insisted that the objective of using this Covid passport so that people are vaccinated more “goes beyond the legal framework” by which it was launched.

Defending that management cannot eliminate freedoms, the three Spanish doctors and experts have agreed on the need to link political decisions (such as the mandatory use of the Covid passport indoors or vaccination) to the benefits it has for citizens.

“If a certain decision can have a determining role in the management of the pandemic, it must be legislated. We have to make decisions if they affect a health benefit“, has finished Antonio Zapatero.

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