"The emergency is in Tenerife: there is a lack of doctors and health personnel"

There is a lack of doctors in the Islands, as revealed by Conrado Domínguez, director of the SCS, and confirmed yesterday by the president of the Official College of Physicians of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Rodrigo Martín, who denounced the DIARIO the agonizing situation of public health in the Canary Islands, and specifically in Tenerife. In his opinion, population growth was not accompanied by an investment in material resources, infrastructures, or in the hiring of health personnel, especially doctors.

Martín indicates that, in this sixth wave, “if we were already bad, now we are overwhelmed”. He showed his concern about “a healthcare pressure that has never been as high as up to now. It’s the reality: hospitals are more crowded than ever, ICUs are busier than ever, Primary Care is more overwhelmed than ever and the death toll practically doubled every month, from 20 in October to 39, 95 and 75 in January, but nothing happens here ”.

Regarding the possible solutions that should be taken in the midst of a pandemic peak, Rodrigo Martín stated that “the first thing is to give us opinions and see reality. Hospitals are more crowded than ever and Primary Care is overwhelmed, and that is where you have to act. It is necessary to maintain and attract professionals to the Canary Islands Public Health. To do this, they must be given stability in their job, sufficient technical resources, adequate spaces to work, and also the remuneration that corresponds to them for the excess work they are developing, with more than 12 hours a day ”.

Likewise, he regretted that the agonizing health situation in Tenerife comes from a chronic gap generated years ago, where population growth was not accompanied by a hiring of doctors and health workers.


“The reality is that Tenerife before the pandemic was the most overloaded island, with a lower ratio of health personnel in relation to the number of inhabitants, due to the chronic lack of human resources. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, we are the Island with the most infections, therefore the main health emergency is now in Tenerife. I have not seen the measures that the President of the Government, the Counselor or the Director General of the SCS have adopted to reverse the critical situation that affects Tenerife, where the main health emergency is now due to the large number of infections. Decisions must be made that have a short-term impact. “

Asked about possible changes due to the inability of the current Ministry team to reverse the pandemic situation, Rodrigo Martín stated that “I am the first who would really want to request a resignation, but I think that whoever came again now would have to start from scratch, especially if, as often happens, they put people in charge of the Health Department who know little about the area ”. However, he continued, “what if I dare to tell you is to put the batteries at once, that like all health personnel: doctors, nurses, etc., they are doubling shifts and working hours, that they also sleep four hours a day working, searching and executing solutions. We are not at recess here! ”He emphasized.

For Rodrigo Martín, politicians must meet “with the technicians who really tell them how the situation is, not with those who pat them, and make with them a short-term emergency plan and medium and long-term plans of what what should be done and how to address current and future pandemics. To begin with, Tenerife lacks several Health Centers, and a new Hospital, which would be the ideal in the long term.

In addition, he affirmed before the last situations experienced in the Health Centers that “face-to-face queues and endless calls to manage administrative procedures such as sick leave and others generated by decisions such as Covid certificates are unacceptable. We have not relied on pharmacies for more than a year to validate a covid test or deliver a vaccination certificate if there is no way to do it online. In addition, terminals for public use could be placed in the Health Centers that allow the issuance of various documents in a more automated way, in addition to improving the computer and online application that fails on many occasions and forces a user to attend ”. He also insisted that “it is very irritating for a user to call and call and that the phone is not answered. You have to give another image and change many things. COVID is teaching us many realities that need to be improved ”.

He also advocated another series of medium and long-term measures “that change the structure of what current healthcare is, what is called specialized precision medicine, which if it had been developed in the Canary Islands would have prevented a good part of the negative effects that we have with the pandemic. They are knowledge that we have but we must invest means in equipment, techniques and we must hire professional geneticists, immunologists, anatomical-pathologists, bioinformaticians, make agreements to use the supercomputers already installed in the Canary Islands, in the ITER or in the IAC, they are all these actions that nothing has been done in practice ”. For this he asked to encourage “that professionals trained in these new techniques of precision medicine can come to the Canary Islands, there are even canaries working in the Peninsula, France, Germany or Great Britain, that if they were given good working conditions they would be willing to come” , and recalled how the Cabildo de Tenerife and the ULL did it in the 1960s and 70s when the HUC and the Faculty of Medicine were created, encouraging the arrival of good professionals.

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