Madrid's new COVID-19 hospital faces backlash
Rahul Pathak


Madrid's regional president, Isabel Ayuso, officially inaugurated Spain's first dedicated pandemic hospital.

Costing more than $100m, the Isabel Zendal hospital has room for 1,000 beds and 50 intensive care units after construction started just four months ago.

The new hospital aims to ease the burden on Madrid's buckling healthcare system, allowing the region's other hospitals to deal with more cases unrelated to COVID-19.



CGTN Europe spoke to Yolanda Garcia, a nurse at Madrid's Ramon y Cajal Hospital,

"This hospital is totally wrong, it's crazy that they didn't spend the $60m they initially said, but used over $100m.

"We don't really need it, every single hospital in the Madrid region has closed wards because they can't afford to pay staff and keep them open. 

"In my opinion, they should have used that money to hire more workers for the hospitals we already have because we need them," she said.

In their hundreds, many members of various healthcare unions protested outside the new hospital with most of their discontent directed at Ayuso.


Madrid's regional president Isabel Ayuso, center, took office last year. /AFP

Madrid's regional president Isabel Ayuso, center, took office last year. /AFP


Another nurse, Curro Ruperto, agreed: "This hospital is not needed at all and even less with the current economic situation. 

"We have told the authorities we can manage with the current hospitals, we just need more funding."

Speaking to the media after a tour of the new hospital, the Madrid president said: "We want it to be a hospital for Spain, open to the rest of the autonomous regions. This new hospital will be multifunctional, adapted to all the situations we might face. 

"New COVID-19 cases will come here to release pressure from the rest of the hospitals, but also for catastrophic events and new pandemics."

However, despite the grand opening, the hospital is yet to be ready for patients. 

Building work is ongoing and authorities are struggling to find enough doctors, nurses and other medical staff to work at the Isabel Zendal.