Armengol forces the removal of posters in Spanish from hospitals and health centers in the Balearic Islands


The Balearic Government led by the socialist Francina Armengol gives a twist on its language policy in public health. If a month ago he opened an information file on a doctor who was reported for attending in Spanish, now he is pursuing all the posters written in this language. The internal order arrived this week from the Primary Care Management and in it all staff were asked to remove all information written only in Spanish, even at the risk of leaving patients without information.

«Between today and tomorrow we must proceed to the removal of posters that are only written in Spanish», Ordered the secretary of direction of the Primary Care

de Mallorca, saving the information written only in Catalan or in Catalan and Spanish. “Subsequently, the templates and models will be sent to you so that, in accordance with the instructions of the General Directorate, the new posters are drawn up,” was detailed in the email to which ABC has had access. In it it was requested “Collaboration on this topic” and it was insisted that “today all the posters of any kind that are written only in Castilian should be removed.”

The instructions also specified that “the work of revision of the posters does not have to be punctual – that is, only at this moment” – but that “at least once a week” must be “review all posters that staff may have posted or to nail in the dependencies of each center of the management without following the instructions given ». “In this case, you have to remove them and send them to the Language Planning Service for review.”

«On the other hand, advertising and campaign posters (governmental or not), union communications and private advertisements do not have to be withdrawn if they have the appropriate authorization to be exposed, since they are not indications or official notifications “, specifies the order signed by the general director of the IB-Salut, Juli Fuster.

Unauthorized by Armengol

Fuster was disavowed by President Armengol, a fellow party member (PSOE), last month when the Health Department closed the investigation in favor of the doctor denounced for an alleged “linguistic aggression.” As revealed by ABC, Salud concluded that the doctor acted correctly and did not violate the rights of the patient. The next day, Armengol ordered the case to be reopened, positioning himself in line with his sovereign partners of Més per Mallorca.

The order to remove the posters It has generated discomfort and boredom in equal parts among a large part of the staff, who reproaches IB-Salut for focusing its efforts on the linguistic issue over the needs of users and workers. In fact, the health workers ignored the instructions and the Health Service sent workers this Friday to all health centers and hospitals to remove all the posters in Spanish on doors and walls.

«The problem has been the forms. They have arrived and have destroyed everything, with very little criteria, without substituting anything and, in many cases, removing posters with important and basic information, “explain health sources who lived the scene with gloom. They say that the worst was the ways in which they entered the centers, “destroying and leaving pieces of paper and dirt on the floor”, and that the workers took photos of posters because they weren’t sure what to do with them. When in doubt, “they removed all of them, despite the fact that many of them offered valuable health information for patients.”

The managing director of Primary Care, Miquel Caldentey, has apologized to the coordinators of the centers for this action, while the deputy medical director has reproached the doctors that «comments in Catalan were missed in the group chat ». Doctors have responded stop the “nonsense” and fix what’s important, and they have recalled that there has always been freedom to speak in the official language that is preferred.

Painted on the facade

The order to remove the posters in Spanish comes as a result of the controversy of Dr. de Son Pisà, denounced for linguistic reasons last month. It all started on August 30 when the Twitter profile @cocovermallorca denounced that a doctor at the Son Pisá health center, in Palma, had refused to “understand” her 79-year-old mother in Catalan. The next day members of Arran, a youth organization linked to the CUP, They painted a painting on the facade of the ambulatory which read “Enough of linguistic aggressions.” Likewise, the Catalan movement of the Balearic Islands was mobilized on social networks “against linguistic aggressions” and in favor of the “right to live in Catalan.” The Ministry of Health, commanded by the PSOE, downplayed these complaints and it ignited the spirits within the Government, especially in the nationalists of Més.

The hostilities within the Government reached such an extreme that had to convene a sectoral-type meeting to reach an agreement that would ease the tensions between the Government partners, who are increasingly pending to differentiate themselves in the face of the next elections.

The main agreement of the meeting was the opening of informative files – and sanctioning if considered appropriate – to any health worker who receives a complaint at the Language Rights Office for not using Catalan or not allowing patients to do so. It was also agreed to require that all posters in hospitals and health centers be, at least, in the Catalan language, from October 1. In addition, each of the nine health center managements must have a person responsible for compliance with language regulations and an IBSalut manager will be appointed to liaise with the Office for the Defense of Language Rights.


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