Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Spaniards protest health care reforms
Sunday - 1/13/2013, 10:42am EST
MADRID (AP) - Thousands of people marched in Madrid on Sunday to protest plans to privatize parts of their public health care system, with some questioning the motives behind the government's actions.
The march by employees and users of the system is the year's second large "white tide" demonstration, named after the color of the medical scrubs many protesters wear. Several similar marches took place last year.
Demonstrators thronged main boulevards in the center of the Spanish capital, carrying banners saying, "Public health care should be defended, not sold off."
The Madrid region has proposed selling the management of six of 20 large public hospitals in its jurisdiction and 10 percent of its 268 public health centers. It says these reforms are needed to secure health services during Spain's economic crisis.
But protesters were skeptical.
"This measure is politically inspired and not financial," said mechanical engineer Mario Sola, 47. "If public hospitals were unsustainably loss-making as we're being told, private enterprise wouldn't be interested."
Health care and education are administered by Spain's 17 semi-autonomous regions rather than by the central government.
Many regions are struggling financially as Spain's economy has shrunk due to a double-dip recession following the 2008 implosion of the once-prosperous real estate and construction sectors.
Some regions overspent during boom years, but are now excluded from borrowing on the financial markets to repay their accumulated debts, forcing them to seek savings and even request rescue aid from the central government.
Regional health councilor Javier Fernandez-Lasquetty called the protests irresponsible and said that "everyone has their point of view, but we are all fighting to defend the same thing."
Jose Gabriel Gonzalez Martin, president of Spain's Independent Civil Service Trade Union Center, said many people's suspicions were aroused when former government health officials acquired jobs with private companies lining up to take over medical analysis functions.
"It might be purely coincidental, but some coincidences are surprising," Gonzalez said.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)