A report concludes that 7,291 elderly people who died in Madrid homes were abandoned to their fate

7,291 people died between March and April 2020 in Madrid’s residences during the first wave of Covid. 7,291 people who died in the worst, “horrible”, “horrific” ways, as described by workers at these centres: suffocated, drowned, dehydrated, without any anesthesia and alone, very alone, saying goodbye to themselves People without being able to. Four years later, those 7,291 people and their families are still waiting for an investigation into what happened in those centres. The Madrid Prosecutor’s Office does not consider it necessary, although suspicions of a crime by the regional administration remain. There is no denial of relief either.

Those who have done this are the family associations, which appointed a group of experts to investigate what happened (the commission created in the Madrid Assembly after last year’s elections was refused and the Ayuso government has refused to recover it). And so a civilian commission was established, chaired by Supreme Court Justice Emeritus José Antonio Martín Palin.

After ten months of work, this commission has made public the report with clear conclusions: the elderly living in residences were abandoned by the Community of Madrid, which established through a protocol that those infected with physical or cognitive dependence People were not sent to hospitals. , In return, it was promised that the residences would be medicalized (ordered by the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid). The reality is that they never were and that residents died in “horrible” ways in those places, as one activist told this citizens’ commission.

Of those who were taken to hospitals, 65% survived

President Ayuso hinted a few weeks ago that these people were going to die anyway, which the report denies: the survival rate of 65% of the elderly referred to hospitals during the months of March and April was 65%, which doctors say And applied to the 7,291 people who died in nursing homes without being referred, it would mean “more than 4,000 lives could have been saved,” said health management expert Fernando Lamata.

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celeste lopez

The latest official figures from the region show 8,691 deaths, of which 5,979 were recorded in nursing homes, a figure representing more than 68% of the total.  The coordinator of Madrid's pensioners believes the tragedy is a failure for the community's government and will demand the resignation of President Isabel Díaz Ayuso at a protest in Puerta del Sol.

Lamata assured that between 7 and 31 March the number of referrals increased from 120 to an average of 65 per day, which should have been much higher than 200, and he stressed that “there was a stop in referrals which had the effect of “Excess deaths” in nursing homes.

In Ifema, there were beds in private hospitals and medical hotels

And the problem is that there were beds, although the residences were not medicalized, a hospital was established in Ifema, with more than 1,300 beds and 3,000 professionals, where residents of public centers were never transferred. (only 23 small ones), nor to the private hospitals with which there were contracts, and which never completed the beds. During Ifema’s period of operation, more than 5,000 people died in settlements “without receiving medical assistance”.

During the pandemic, approximately 8,000 patients referred and financed by the Ministry of Health were treated in private hospitals in the Community of Madrid. These patients were referred from hospitals. Patients were not allowed to be referred from residence unless they had private insurance. “Although it was advertised that the integrated public-private system would act as a single hospital that would save many lives, the truth is that none of them were older people without private insurance,” the report said. Having said.

And hotel? 14 treated hotels with 1,036 beds were made operational. At peak occupancy they utilized 836 beds. “Referral of any patients from residences to these hotels was not authorized,” the text said.

Unsupported housing that was offered to Castilla y León

What the Community of Madrid authorized was that Samur health workers “went to Castilla y León to provide health care”, all this without mentioning that they had also “increased the functioning of public centers, medicalization from neighboring autonomous communities “Support was requested.” Expand accommodation, IFEMA staff or medicalized hotels. Had this been done, the Commission defended, “adequate care could have been provided to patients in the residences.”

Thus, the above report states, “People who owned their homes in residential centers saw their fundamental rights seriously undermined: the right to be treated with dignity, the right to life, protection of health, personal and “They should not be discriminated against because of family privacy, their age, disability or illness.”

right to health care

Members of the commission, chaired by Supreme Court Justice Emeritus José Antonio Martín Palin, also condemned that the regional government violated the right to health care and the right to life by “drastically reducing the referral of patients from nursing homes.” Violated. “In hospitals” In the same period, “without prior medical attention” centers asked to provide “the same health care that the patient would have received in a hospital.”

For all of the above, the report establishes that “the suffering and avoidable deaths of thousands of elderly people living in nursing homes were the result of entirely conscious decisions, planned and maintained over time.”

The Health Minister of the Community of Madrid believes the report tries to “divert the pain”

Fatima Matute, Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, assured this Friday that it creates a “deep sense of sadness” that the actions taken during the Covid-19 pandemic in nursing homes have been questioned and censored in a way that is “contriving. “Let’s try to take pain and use it in a way that doesn’t help anyone.”

In statements at the ministry’s headquarters, the head of Madrid’s health department recalled that he experienced the pandemic as a health professional and defended the “impeccable” work in the Community of Madrid to try to save lives in such a situation. Was done for. Everyone.”

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Marta Ricart

A resident of the Pablo Neruda Senior Residence (C/Santa Clara, 1, Simpozuelos, Madrid) listens to a musical performance by journalists and singers Candela Palazón and Celia Blanco.

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