Demonstrators reportedly call on Cifuentes to "go private"

Regional government delegate in public hospital after scooter crash

Protesters at La Paz hospital in Madrid have apparently been calling for Cristina Cifuentes, a Popular Party politician currently in intensive care there following a traffic accident, to move to a private clinic in a demonstration against the planned privatization of the regional healthcare system.

Cifuentes, 49, who is the central government delegate in Madrid, underwent surgery after her scooter crashed into a car on Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana boulevard on Tuesday.

Doctors reported that she suffered five broken ribs and damage to her lungs in the incident.

Around 100 hospital employees took part in demonstrations in front of La Paz, forming a circle and chanting slogans.

Hospital workers have been protesting every Thursday over controversial privatization plans and healthcare budget cuts

For months now, hospital workers have been protesting every Thursday over the controversial privatization plans and healthcare budget cuts.

Patusalud, a group that campaigns in defense of public health services, supported the protest while at the same time wishing Cifuentes a speedy recovery. “We know that she is in the best hands, and that she has come to a public health center where she will be very well looked after,” the group said in a statement.

They added that the protest is part of the battle to maintain “public, universal and quality” healthcare.

Mar Coloma, a Patusalud member who works at another hospital in Madrid and who took part in Thursday’s protest, claimed that she did not hear any chants about Cifuentes. She said that there could have been a small faction of the group demanding that the politician go to a private hospital, but added that those protesters were quickly silenced by others, saying that the main reason for the demonstration was to show support for public healthcare.

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