Since mid-November we have known that doctors and NGOs are denouncing that the Community of Madrid (CAM) denies or hinders access to HIV treatment to immigrants in an irregular situation who either have just arrived in Spain (having been treated in their place of origin) and want to continue treatment, or have been found to be positive and want to start treatment.
How do you understand interrupting someone’s HIV treatment? It is condemning them to the onset of AIDS symptoms. Being infected and on the correct treatment prevents the disease from appearing.
Gentlemen politicians of the Popular Party (PP), governors of the Community of Madrid, apply the usual criteria and protocol to those who ask for HIV treatment. He is a human being, who comes to the Social Security because of his need to live healthy among us, even if he does not have his papers in order. Is it so hard to understand the situation?
To the Popular Party (PP), to the ultra-right wing of VOX, and to the psychosocial right wing that votes for them and supports these policies towards foreigners, I would say that treating people who come to our country with HIV, regularly or not, is proper of good people and good Christians. If only while the administration decides what to do with them. That is inevitable. Moreover, this segment of the population in the focus of the foreigners’ department is insignificant in number.
But whether you are Christians or not, dealing with the undocumented people who are already here is also a matter of epidemiological coherence. It is also a free choice for ideological coherence with decency.
If you don’t want to do it out of charity, because you think with your saddlebags (€), do it out of cold mathematical calculation. Think that if you continue to treat those who are simply already in Madrid, the value invested in those here, who do receive treatment, is not lost. That would be your point of view, gentlemen of the right in Madrid.
Without renouncing your creeds and phobias, you will see that it is better to vaccinate or treat all of us who are here, so that those who “sneak in” from outside, fleeing the misery of globalised neoliberalism, do not infect you.
Have you learned nothing about infectious diseases, pandemic or not? These days Europe is on fire again because of COVID, in its delta variant. Austria is confined. In Germany Angela Merkel is shouting ─”Achtung… Achtung”. Here in Spain, infections are on the rise. The ratio per hundred thousand inhabitants is rising. Christmas is approaching and we will be pressured or convinced by whatever means, media persuasion, limitations of access for the unvaccinated. “By civil or military means”, as Revilla (President of the Community of Cantabria) said.
We will be didactic like you. Remember that COVID vaccines have worked. So have HIV treatments. Those who follow them end up “undetectable”. That is, none of their bodily fluids contain detectable traces of the virus.
So how can it be understood that they interrupt the treatment of someone who comes from outside? The governors of the Community of Madrid should apply a single criterion and protocol to anyone requesting HIV treatment, while their situation is being resolved.
Even with a cold accounting criterion, they should be reasonable and treat everyone equally, so as not to lose the investment in those already treated and to minimise the number of new infections. Even equidistant mathematics has more head and heart than the “court of wonders” set up by Councillor Isabel Ayuso (PP), in the Community of Madrid.
A little bit from the newspaper archive
For readers outside Madrid, the Partido Popular (PP) has been applying a miserly and mean-spirited management of public health care for almost thirty years now. It is dismantling it in favour of the private sector. Especially by successive Health Councillors (like a Minister at State level). One example is Javier Fernández Lasquetty Blanc. He was in the news in the past (2013) for his eagerness to privatise Madrid’s public health system.
He almost got away with it when he tried to privatise, by somewhat obscure and inopportune means, the management of six public hospitals and 27 health centres. This is no small thing, the backbone of the health system. It was handed over to private hands, without any clear criteria and without subsequent audits. Public and private can coexist, of course, but with an independent authority to oversee both.
Let’s remember with regard to that failed privatisation, which was so rigged in favour of the concessionary companies, that the bake-off set the health community on fire in 2013. The white coats and the people took to the streets. Lasquetty had to resign and go to Guatemala until “the oven” cooled down. After a while he returned. “Casado resorts to Lasquetty, the Aznarist who privatised hospitals in Madrid, to “recover the liberal essence” of the PP”, said Íñigo Aduriz in www.ElDiario.es, in its edition of 6 December 2018.
Let’s remember: in his resignation/resignation after the Fernández-Lasquetty scandal, he explained that he was disappearing from political life. Yes, yes… But, in reality, it was the TSJ of Madrid (High Court of Justice of Madrid) who stopped him from the ball of fire, suspending the privatisation process. This suspension was later upheld by the Constitutional Court. He is certainly a well-trained politician and totally aligned with FAES, the ultra-liberal think-tank of former president Aznar. Well-trained, yes, but for what? To privatise, not to seek the good of ordinary Madrileños. Not to give healthcare a universal service approach and a reasonably generous humanity? NO, not for that.
The liberal essence of the PP has nothing humanist about it, however much they sell it as such. It is like the humanism of Bankia and others who advertise themselves as such. It is a selfish behaviour typical of some humans, yes. But that does not make it humanist. Essences are essences. Putting the human being above any historical, religious, economic consideration, and looking for him to grow and emancipate himself… that is a good approach to Humanism. There are better formulations right here in Pressenza.
In 2014 this Fernández-Lasquetty hid in Guatemala to prepare there, in a distinguished private university, the new neoliberal elites that Latin America needs so much. Indispensable elites, enriched with new clones in the likeness of the Bush, Trump and Aznar ─citados from greater to lesser importance─. Prepared to continue squeezing the peoples of America, until their eyes are gouged out in neoliberal globalisation.
Then Pablo Casado brought him back and placed him, in 2018, to Isabel Ayuso. From Guatemala to “Guatepeor”. That is to say, they returned this cheat to the insula barataria of the Community of Madrid, as Minister of Finance.
This chronicle is necessary to know who are the ones who set the policy in the CAM. Lasquetty, an educated and fine Christian, is the one behind the dismantling of the Public sector. The same character who is now skimping on HIV pills, along with the Health Minister, Enrique Ruiz Escudero. More details on the politics of Santitaria in Madrid, here.
If these policies continue, we will soon see that in Madrid those who can afford private health care will not be spared. Now it’s on price, but when the Social Security is bankrupt they will raise prices because they will have the captive middle classes as clients.
Returning to HIV, infectious diseases, or pandemics, don’t they see that in a community/city as densely populated as Madrid, it is suicidal to skimp on HIV treatment? They also skimp on PREP, which is HIV prevention medication. According to El Pais there is a seven month waiting list for PREP in Madrid.
That is the conservative and neoliberal policy. Denying the evidence and favouring every man for himself. More and more people cannot make ends meet. Every day, more and more people find themselves in poverty and exclusion. If you hide or deny misery, it will come back into the palace through the windows, through the air, and will be on the tables of the rich and the poor. The misery and diseases of the other are yours. They will travel in the Metro, not through the pipes. Because the water is slightly chlorinated in Madrid, thanks to Canal de Isabel II. At the moment the water is public. It is worth noting that in 2012 the Community of Madrid gave up on privatising the Canal de Isabel II. It did not go ahead because of the economic crisis and because the sale was going to be for a scandalously low price. This also set the media and networks on fire. This is the “libertarian” Madrid of the PP… There is an active citizens’ platform against this privatisation.
In 2023 there will be general elections and in Madrid. We will see campaigns shouting “long live freedom, long live taverns, long live beer drinking, and may I not meet my exes”… What wonderful phrases Ayusismo leaves us with! The character is transparent, but it seems that not everyone sees it. (Note also for readers from abroad. Yes, Isabel Ayuso, the president of the CAM has proclaimed this nonsense).
By then in Madrid some will continue to vote freely and mediatically for the PP and VOX, so that from Madrid they will continue to counter-govern the Parliament of the Nation. Note that the current government did legislate to treat universally, in Spain, people affected by infectious-contagious diseases. This was purely out of good sense and not out of Bolivarian social communism. But Ayusismo had to contravene such sensible regulations, as has been reported here.
What human and humanist solution can we give to this situation of “every man for himself” that prevails in Madrid and all over the planet?
The answer comes very close at hand: it is to be well informed when it comes to voting. It is to go back to the newspaper archives. It is to internalise our own situation and that of our environment. It is to see how our life and health coverage is gradually worsening. It is to wake up and see that, although we may be doing well, we have to ask ourselves: But what about beyond me? There are our friends or our children’s friends, nieces, nephews and distant cousins. There is the family, second or third kin. There is the neighbourhood and the neighbourhood that are not a film set with extras. They are real people you come across and share the city with.
We need to open our eyes and see how they push us, from the networks, TV and all the media, “to contract the best private healthcare”. They spoon-feed us the idea that private is better, so that little by little Social Security becomes the solution for the poor. So that it will finally be administered in hospitals and in the emergency room, as in the United States, which is the true centre of anti-humanism.
The way out is to become enlightened and open our eyes. It is to realise as a child pointed out in that children’s story “the King is naked”. But nobody wanted to recognise him. I am referring to Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. By the way, in the USA “the Emperor” is indeed naked. The USA has more than 800.000 deaths due to COVID and inefficient and cruel health policy and economic contradictions and Pri. In the USA everything public and welfare is in a tailspin.
Illustration: Thomas Vilhelm Pedersen (1820 ─ 1859) Danish painter and illustrator who is best remembered for illustrating Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales.
This is a factual and opinionated article, intended to inform. Let’s react! Everyone in their own way should inform themselves and contrast what they read, and not be the echo of the rumours and self-interested scoundrels. Informed to vote with common sense. For oneself and for others. This is the only way this representative democracy we have given ourselves will work better. By enlightening ourselves and looking life in the face, in a habitual and sustained way, we may one day do better individually ─better as a species, or as a hive of human beings, without renouncing our individuality─.