Friday, September 11, 2009


Regular readers of my blog will know that from time to time I dip in to the blog ‘Voto en Blanco’ for inspiration. This week my esteemed colleague, Francisco Rubiales, under the title “Señora ministra de Sanidad, escúcheme usted” has reproduced an open letter from the Spanish daily newspaper “El Mundo” addressed to the country’s Minister for health. It was penned by Monica Lalanda, a medical specialist in emergencies.

Amongst the topics that Dr Lalanda picks up on is her thanks to the minister for selecting medical staff such as her for inoculation against Swine Flu because they are essential workers. She states: “suddenly I am valued as a national asset” then adds “but come and see my contract or those of the rest of doctors in this country. The vast majority work with contracts that would be a shame in the rest of the old Europe.”

Dr Lalanda also begs the question – why are Tamiflu stocks being kept under custody by the Spanish army? Many medics worldwide say that “the effectiveness of the antiviral against this flu is dubious” and only reduces the duration of symptoms and side effects for a short while. The doctor says that Tamiflu should be freely available in pharmacies as too should other rival products which are currently not freely available so “there are no panics from restrictions.”

However it is the doctor’s last paragraph that interests me most. It is not unknown for governments, specially the monarchs of the days of old, to start a war to divert the populace’s attention from the dire situation at home. Indeed in recent times “security threats” have been used as an excuse to reduce or take away our basic freedoms in the name of the “national good” or our presumed need of “protection”.

Dr Lalanda sees the Swine Flu campaign as a “smoke screen” now that the economic crisis continues in Spain with unemployment at historical high levels with taxes rises to combat the low GDP.

I agree. This winter normal flu will take more lives than Swine Flu but that statistic will not be mentioned. Instead governments around the world will tackle the quasi-threat of Swine Flu in the hope it diverts our attention from the real problems that blight our lives - problems they are failing to cope with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sancho
Sorry to have appeared condescending or abusive to you. It wasn't intended at all. It doesn't quite matter whether you publish the comment or not as long as you read it.
I am actually a "she", surprise, surprise!My name is Mónica Lalanda and I am the author of the letter to the minister published in El Mundo.
I was pleasently surprised to find comments written in English and that is the only reason why I took the time to write to you. The letter appears in over one thousand other spanish blogs (madness!)but I quite enjoyed seeing a comment in English and was looking forward to send a link to my english friends.However I was terribly disappointed to see that you had missed the main point of that letter. I understand, that getting the irony of a piece in a different language goes beyond a good grasp of a second language (which you obviously have, anyway).
I do not thank the minister for putting doctors ahead on the vaccination program, on the other hand I inform her that I do not trust the vaccine, I am not prepared to be a lab rabbit and I will not get myself vaccinated.

I do apologise again if you found the comments offensive.
Congratulations on your blog and best wishes.

PS I would have put an identity down, had it been easier. why not giving the simple chance of a username and an e-mail address?