The half of those responsible for the regional health area have left their positions, by resignation, dismissal or change of government, without ever seeing the end of the pandemic, including Javier Guerrero in Ceuta, and his successors and the rest will continue to live with the virus and with the controversy, perhaps at some point case in court.
The political management of the pandemic claimed its first dismissal 10 days after the state of alarm in the Minister of Health of the Canary Islands, the socialist Teresa Cruz Oval, who was replaced in June 2020 by the current head of the Ministry, Blas Trujillo (PSOE).
Only two months after the declaration of the state of alarm, on May 12, 2020, the Minister of Aragon, Pilar Ventura (PSOE), presented her resignation after being harshly questioned for saying that it was an “encouragement” for doctors to have to make their own protective equipment, words that she later recognized as “wrong”. His replacement, the gynecologist Sira Repollés, has remained in office ever since.
The doctor Jesús Vázquez Almuiña, Minister of Health of Galicia since 2015, was replaced on September 7, 2020 by the radiophysicist Julio García Comesaña -then independent and now a member of the PP-, who had made his debut in health management with the bipartisan socialist Emilio Pérez Touriño and whom Alberto Núñez Feijóo chose to distance the management of the pandemic from partisan calculations.
In the Basque Country, the elections of July 12, 2020 saw the replacement of Nekane Murga by Gotzone Sagardui, both doctors and the PNV. Sagardui, who is still in office, faced the biggest controversy of his management in January 2021, when the managing directors of two Bilbao hospitals had to leave their posts for getting vaccinated earlier than the protocol established.
In Murcia, the current Minister of Health, the family doctor Juan José Pedreño, replaced Manuel Villegas in January 2021, after he resigned from his position due to pressure from Ciudadanos, then a member of the PP government, for vaccinating himself and all his team ahead of time.
The same cost the position of the Minister of Health of Ceuta, Javier Guerrero (PP), who ended up resigning in January 2021 after trying to justify that he had been vaccinated on the recommendation of the technicians in the area although he “did not want to”. His successor, Alberto Gaitán (PP), has been the subject of a Vox complaint in court for the “covid passport”, although yesterday the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia (TSJA) decided not to attend to Vox’s request and maintain the same .
In Catalonia, the new distribution of portfolios among the partners of the Govern after the regional elections on February 14, 2021 raised the then director of the Catalan Institute of Health, the epidemiologist Josep María Argimon (JxCat) to replace Alba Verges (ERC) ), which had decreed the first zonal confinement in Spain, that of Igualada -his city- and the entire Conca de Ódena.
A remodeling of the Executive also meant the relief in Public Health of Melilla of Mohamed Mohamed Mohand (PSOE) in August 2021, who months before, in February 2021, when meetings with non-cohabitants were prohibited, had broadcast a video on networks eating a paella with some friends, something that the PP took to court.
In Castilla y León, Dr. Verónica Casado was in charge of Health, an independent who arrived with Ciudadanos endorsed by her recognition as the best family doctor in the world, but the breakup of the coalition government took her away after two and a half years in which, according to what he told EFE, there was “no good day.” She was replaced on December 21 by Alejandro Vázquez (PP).
The last to yield the baton was the socialist Sara Alba Corral, Minister of Health of La Rioja until a few days ago, as a result of the differences in how to approach the next steps in the field of regional health, despite the recognition that her management of the pandemic has been “exemplary”. She has been replaced by María Somalo San Juan (PSOE).
STILL IN CHARGE
On the contrary, those responsible for Health from nine communities remain in office, including Andalusia, whose Minister for Health and Families, doctor Jesús Aguirre (PP), is one of the members of the regional government best valued by citizens.
In Asturias, Pablo Fernández has remained at the head of Health since the beginning of the legislature, a department that the Director General of Public Health, Rafael Cofiño, left last December, considering that it was time for other people to assume “the political leadership ” to manage the pandemic.
The Minister of Health of the Balearic Islands is, since 2015, the nurse Patricia Gómez, from the PSOE, who has faced criticism at the beginning of 2021 as a result of the untimely vaccination of some senior officials and last summer for the forced confinement of young people on a study trip to Mallorca.
The Minister of Health of Cantabria continues to be the socialist Miguel Rodríguez, who has received criticism from the opposition and from hoteliers for his restriction measures, on some occasions knocked down by the courts.
The Minister of Castilla-La Mancha, Jesús Fernández Sanz (PSOE), whom the regional president, Emiliano García-Page, has always thanked for his work during the pandemic, also remains in office for the entire legislature.
For its part, the Minister of Health of the Valencian Community, Ana Barceló (PSPV-PSOE), has been the subject of several lawsuits. Last Tuesday the first sentence was known, from a Court of Alicante, which condemns the Ministry to compensate doctors for the lack of protection during the first wave.
In Extremadura, the Minister of Health and Social Services is the doctor José María Vergeles, from the PSOE. His only controversy was for telling professionals during the national doctors’ strike to be careful because “you can go from hero to villain in a second”, which was interpreted as a threat.
Since the previous legislature, the Minister of Health of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero (PP), has been in office, who internally collided with the former Minister of Social Policies, Alberto Reyero (Cs), due to the protocols for referring nursing homes to hospitals , and has externally disagreed with the Government of Spain on numerous occasions.
Santos Induráin, Minister of Health of Navarra, an independent appointed in August 2019 at the proposal of the PSN, maintains the position enduring criticism from the opposition, the hospitality sector and the Medical Union for her management of the pandemic.