In the document released today, whose first signature is the president of the Association of Public Health Doctors, Ricardo Mexia, doctors lament the “huge asymmetry in the resources available in the face of needs” and the “successive attacks” that have suffered their technical autonomy and that they consider “violations of their professional dignity”. Doctors reiterate the need to materialize "the long-delayed‘ Public Health Reform ", stressing that" the covid-19 pandemic has made the shortcomings and gaps in an area that has never really been the target of investment even more visible “The absence of planning and long-term thinking means that this area has critical deficiencies in human resources, facilities, equipment, the absence of an information system, and has seen its organization postponed due to the evolution of modern Public Health”, underline .
The signatories regret that "multiplying the situations in which the answer is called into question, with the implementation of solutions, supposedly collaborative and expeditious, that go against the grain" of the good practices and guidelines of these specialists, and that "only aim to give a apparent normalization of processes, without guarantees of protection of the health of citizens and without taking into account geographical differences ”. “And whenever the units choose not to adhere to these‘ cosmetic ’solutions and ask for more resources to be able to meet their needs, they are denied”, they underline. They also repudiate that, in the middle of the fight against the pandemic, “once again” the specialists, appointed as Health Authorities, are obliged to perform bureaucratic functions such as “attesting the physical limitations of a citizen for the purposes of accompanied voting, a task that in nothing contributes to the goal of Public Health to prevent disease, promote health and improve the physical and mental health of the population ”.
They also criticize the fact that the Health Authorities are not paid the hours of work for issuing these certificates, being the only elements in service on election days that are not paid by the National Elections Commission, on the grounds that they are permanently available. Doctors also regret “the opinion issued by the Attorney General's Office on the payment of overtime that does not recognize the undeniable right of any worker to be paid for the work performed”. They also repudiate the way the Health Authority supplement was regulated, "due more than a decade ago", considering its value "insulting, given the increased pain and responsibility" of its functions ".
They also reject the decision, albeit transitory, to no longer require “medical qualification” to exercise the functions of Health Authority. "To soften this requirement is yet another attack on the professional dignity of the Health Authorities, setting an unacceptable precedent, under the pretext of the pandemic situation we are going through", they warn. In their opinion, “it is a red line that cannot be crossed” and they warn that they will use, “when appropriate, all their means at their disposal to defend their rights”. Despite these situations, doctors reiterate “their absolute dedication and commitment to the pandemic fight”, being alongside health professionals and citizens.