Vigo’s Gold Medal for Ribera Povisa: pride and commitment

Yesterday was a very special day for the Ribera healthcare group in general and for Povisa in particular. Over the last year, we have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of this great Galician hospital, a reference throughout Spain. The Vigo City Council approved the awarding of the Vigo Gold Medal to the Ribera Povisa hospital for its excellence in healthcare and its dedication to its citizens over the last 50 years. A distinction that we are privileged to share with the National Police, which is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its foundation and its service to the citizens of Spain. 

It was an honour for me to receive this Gold Medal last night, on behalf of the thousands of professionals who have worked all these years and are now working at Ribera Povisa, for their professionalism and good work. And even more so, to share this award with an institution such as the National Police, so important for the coexistence and security of the Spanish people. It was a very moving event. 

In my speech, which I leave you in this blog entry, I tried to express the enormous pride of representing so many generations of professionals who have given the best of themselves, with passion and dedication, at the service of the citizens at Ribera Povisa; a hospital that, overcoming challenges, complicated situations and even some misunderstandings, has shown that, with a unique model, was born to complement the health care of the Vigo area, in a structural way. It is also committed to quality healthcare training, with the Povisa School of Nursing. In my speech I also confirmed the Ribera health group’s commitment to Galician healthcare, so that it can be at the forefront of a future full of challenges and transformations that we are going to face in the coming years. 

I hope you like it.


Your Excellency Mr. Mayor, dear Abel.

Members of the Corporation,

Authorities, friends…

I would like to begin my speech by expressing my emotional gratitude for the Vigo gold medal.  I do so with a heavy heart for the triple honour it represents. 

To begin with, because I am here on behalf of the thousands of professionals who for 50 years have dedicated their lives to the commitment to the health care of the citizens of Vigo at Povisa. And always with extraordinary generosity, dedication and passion.

Secondly, because this recognition is awarded to Povisa by the city of Vigo, its city. An enterprising and persevering city, which defends values and traditions, but always open to the future and to progress. And Povisa has that same aura.

And I have said that it is a triple honour because, in addition, receiving this award together with the National Police, which this year celebrates its 200th anniversary, gives me a special thrill. The professionals of Povisa and those of the National Police share an unparalleled vocation of service, always putting the citizen above all else.


We citizens believe that a hospital is the place where we receive healthcare when we are ill. But Povisa is much more. It is knowing that you and yours are in the best hands. Because they look after your health, but they also look after you, your wellbeing. Just like families do.

Povisa is a family. They have formed a big family of which all the people of Vigo feel part and proud. 

Our professionals know that each person is unique, that each patient is special. And for this reason, I would like once again to thank the generations of professionals who have maintained over time the vision, the generosity and the personal and professional commitment made by the promoters of the hospital at the end of the 1960s and whom I would like to remember today in this ceremony that is so important to us. I believe that on a day like today, doctors José Troncoso, Darío Durán, Manuel Sas, Alberto Guitián and Eduardo Vázquez, as well as the Silveira family, who managed the hospital for many years, deserve a round of applause. 

They all helped to build what is now this great project. But they were also pioneers in a unique model of collaboration between civil society and the administrations, so that the residents of Vigo would have access to the best possible healthcare. 

During all this time they have had to face challenges, complicated situations and even some misunderstandings. But with their dedication they demonstrated in a short time that Povisa was born to complement the health care of the city, in a structural way, and leading a unique project.

Its vision, like that of the Ribera group today, is to be committed to the general interest and the common good of the citizens of Vigo and its area.

Today, in this magnificent ceremony, I personally commit myself in front of everyone, that from the Ribera Group we will respect and promote the founding values of Povisa. Our commitment to the citizens of Vigo is firm, authentic and unshakeable

Our vocation is to create hospitals with soul. Povisa already had one, which has turned out to be the soul mate of the Ribera Group.

And I would like to take this opportunity to extend this commitment to Cepovisa, our School of Nursing. We have a healthcare vocation, but also a teaching and humanist vocation. Our responsibility is to transmit knowledge for a better care of the population and to train at the highest level the new generations of young people with a vocation for healthcare, so that the future of healthcare is guaranteed. Hand in hand with the University of Vigo, because we always seek alliances with top-level institutions. And with the precept of offering holistic training, to prepare the professionals who will care for us in the coming years.

And let me share one more thought before I finish.

This distinction is the culmination of a very special year for Povisa. Throughout 2023 we have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the hospital, which during its history has become a national clinical benchmark for its magnificent professionals, and an example of social responsibility, for projects such as Discamino, which help us to be better every day. 

As in any great story, great chapters have been written, but the best is yet to come. In this great healthcare revolution that we are going to experience in the coming years, Povisa will be at the forefront and will lead the transformation of the care that citizens deserve.

I have finished.

Thank you very much, once again, for this Gold Medal of Vigo on behalf of all the professionals who are and have been part of Povisa. I am very proud and excited to represent this great health and social project, which was born by and for the citizens of Vigo. 


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