At eight o’clock in the morning at the Tiana health center on Monday, it didn’t seem like anything was happening. There were a lot of people waiting at the reception desk who were not affected by the doctors’ strike. They were healthcare users who were getting their blood taken, and as nurses do this, it was happening as usual. People who went to health centres to get the flu vaccine also managed to get them, and there were plenty of them. At the Nova Lloreda health centre, on avinguda de Catalunya in Badalona, there were posters telling people who needed vaccinations to go directly to the pertinent office. At this large center, located in a densely populated neighbourhood, the tide of people was constant all morning. Other centers, like Tiana, were busy for the first hour, and then empty. Not many people approached them because practically everybody knew about the strike.
At the Lloreda health centre, where you need to take a ticket to queue to speak to the workers behind the desk, one woman just wanted to know whether or not her doctor was on strike. And she was. So the woman just left. The truth is that participation in the strike was very high. On the whole patient understanding healthcare users were also in the majority. “I understand. The thing is, they’re right,” said Pepita, an elderly woman who was going to get her flu vaccine.
In contrast to reactions to other strikes (like public transport strikes) people were very understanding yesterday. “They aren’t asking for money, they’re asking to be able to give patients better service and for more doctors,” said an elderly man who had gone to the medical center to change an appointment and see how things were going.