Mourning and the response of a Valencia in solidarity

I usually use this blog to give my opinion on the healthcare situation, the future of healthcare and other issues related to the sector. However, I cannot ignore the tragedy experienced in Valencia on Thursday 22 February, as a result of the fire in the 14-storey building on Avenida Maestro Rodrigo, in the Campanar neighbourhood, in which ten people died, several were injured, some seriously, and nearly 400 people were left homeless and without most of their belongings and material souvenirs. In addition, the building is very close to the headquarters of the Ribera health group and we were almost able to see what happened live.

First of all, I would like to offer my condolences to the families of those who died in this dramatic fire, to show my solidarity with those whose lives were radically changed in just a few hours, and to thank the firefighters and the Security Forces for their brave and selfless work which, in this case, involved putting their own lives at risk. I believe that, at this point, the firefighters deserve a special mention because, as is always the case in this type of tragedy, they are the ones on the front line of the tragedy and the ones who risk the most to help others. 

I would also like to highlight the immediate response of the health sector. The Ribera Group also made ourselves available to the health administration for anything they might need. Without a doubt, the reaction was immediate and in record time a health care system was organised on site and in the nearest hospitals to attend to those affected. 

Valencia has been in mourning for three days, but it will take many more to overcome this terrible tragedy, which has occurred just days before the start of our most important and international festival, the Fallas. All the events planned for last weekend were cancelled and the Fallas world was the first to show its solidarity. Valencia has once again demonstrated the solidarity and empathy of a society that is open, cooperative and sensitive by nature, feelings that have also moved the rest of Spain, and many countries in Europe and the world, shocked by the painful loss of human lives in this tremendous accident, which will take a long time to be forgotten. Personally, I would like to thank the many calls and e-mails I have received from friends and colleagues from many regions of Spain and from countries such as France, Portugal, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Argentina and Chile, among others. I would also like to highlight the immediate presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, who yesterday acted as ambassadors of this solidarity towards the victims of the fire in Valencia on behalf of the whole of Spain.

A final thought. The rapid response of administrations, collectives, companies and individuals demonstrates the importance of consolidating ourselves as an advanced society, which must have powerful public services. And with particular emphasis on health services, which must be efficient, contribute permanently to the well-being of citizens and be at their side in these and all circumstances that may arise at all stages of their lives, both in accidents such as the fire on Thursday or the Covid crisis, which we suffered four years ago.

At Ribera, we are particularly proud of our contribution to the provision of healthcare services in a strong, close-knit, quality public and private system that prioritises citizen care above all other considerations.

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