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Alberto de Rosa

Alberto de Rosa, English

Let’s build from a place of unity

8 abril, 2020 • By

When we celebrated the start of a new decade a little over three months ago, no one could have imagined that the 21st-century’s first pandemic was knocking on the door. It was a moment when we all wished each other health and happiness for the coming year. Health, what a beautiful word. Today we’re fighting against an enemy that is both invisible and brutal, evidenced by the deaths of tens of thousands worldwide. 

Our society has once again risen to the occasion. I believe that the people across Spain and in our Community of Valencia have given the very best of themselves. The responsibility, unity, generosity, solidarity and spirit of sacrifice of each and every one of us during this crisis and lockdown is far beyond what we could have imagined just a month ago. 

As the head of a healthcare group, Ribera Salud, I’ve had the opportunity to be on the front line of our defence. I’ve been honoured to lead an extraordinary team of professionals (physicians, nurses, assistants, technicians, administrators, guards, maintenance staff, cleaners and more) in Galicia, Madrid, Extremadura and the Community of Valencia, who have served as an incredible example of what this extraordinary profession is all about with dedication, passion, professionalism and efficiency. They have once again proved that we are an organisation of people who take care of people. And I would like to express my deep pride and appreciation for them all. 

María José, one of the amazing cleaners at our hospitals, assured us the other day that she is working “more and better than ever, because this is also my hospital and I want to help put an end to this situation”. And Cuca, an administrator at the cancer outpatient centre, told us that she didn’t want to take time off because “we’re a big family and our patients need us right now”. Emergency physician Ángel said he felt appreciated by the citizens because, “they don’t discriminate professionals by the type of hospital in which they work, despite the efforts of some politicians”. They insist they’re not special, but their values are an example for us all. There you have it.

I would also like to thank the overwhelming demonstrations of kindness and solidarity from individuals, groups and companies who are helping to make this situation more bearable with their donations and displays of support for professionals. And, of course, the security forces for their impressive public service efforts, whatever the job they are assigned. We also try to stay in close contact with both local and regional institutions to keep them up to date with the evolution of the crisis. Because information and transparency are the cornerstones of teamwork.

Now is the time to start looking to the future and prepare to face a new reality. The damage this pandemic will have on public services, social habits, and the economy will be severe. And once again, how long it takes to get through it is up to us. We need to put an end to divisive debates and to encourage all those things that unite us. This pandemic knows no borders, social classes, or political ideologies. And questioning globalisation and advocating for archaic nationalism is misguided, because the virus has also taught us that this fight requires a global response.

It is tempting to offer simple, populist responses to complex scenarios, but that would be wrong. When it comes to healthcare, I hear confrontational messages about public vs, private, when the response to the crisis would have been a complete disaster without the collaboration between both sectors. Simply impossible. 

When it comes to the economy, I hear criticism of people like Amancio Ortega and Juan Roig, when they’ve served as examples of commitment and generosity and stand as true social leaders. Meanwhile, in politics, different leaders make decisions based on what they think will best serve their position in the short term. 

And that’s not what the virus is about. It’s about changing our priorities and social values. About seeking consensus and compromise, joining forces. About generosity, listening, being thankful. Ultimately, it’s a lesson in humility. Our political leaders have the opportunity to take on this challenge with all the power and vision of the State. I don’t know if they will. But I would ask them to keep in mind the elderly who have died in nursing homes when they make their decisions, because they were not given the priority care they deserved. And the overwhelming number of professionals infected because the government failed to provide enough PPE. Professionals who went to work every day, despite their fears, to fight for all of us. Which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team at the Ribera Salud purchasing department for their dedication and efficiency in helping to prevent the spread of the virus among our professionals. 

Let’s hope that all those responsible for moving our nation forward will live up to the example set by the country’s citizens. 

(This article was published in the newspaper Levante-EMV on 7th April 2020)


Alberto de Rosa, Opinión

Construyamos desde la unidad

7 abril, 2020 • By

Cuando hace poco más de tres meses celebrábamos el comienzo de una nueva década, nadie podía imaginar que la primera pandemia del siglo XXI estaba llamando a la puerta. Era un momento en el que todos nos deseábamos salud y felicidad para el año próximo. Salud, qué hermosa palabra. Hoy luchamos contra un enemigo invisible pero duro, muy duro. Las decenas de miles de personas fallecidas lo demuestran. 

Nuestra sociedad ha sabido una vez más estar a la altura de las circunstancias. Creo que tanto en España como en nuestra Comunidad los ciudadanos hemos mostrado nuestra mejor versión. La responsabilidad, la unidad, la generosidad, la solidaridad y el espíritu de sacrificio de todos en estos días de lucha y confinamiento supera con mucho a lo que podíamos imaginar hace solo un mes. 

Como responsable de un grupo sanitario, Ribera Salud, he tenido la oportunidad de estar en la primera línea de defensa de nuestra sociedad. Mi privilegio es liderar un extraordinario equipo de profesionales (médicos/as, enfermeros/as, auxiliares, técnicos/as, administrativos/as, celadores/as, personal de mantenimiento, personal de limpieza…) que tanto en Galicia, Madrid, Extremadura y la Comunidad Valenciana han dado ejemplo de lo que es esta extraordinaria profesión vocacional con entrega, pasión, profesionalidad y eficacia. Han demostrado, una vez más, que somos una organización de personas que cuidan a personas. Y permitan que exprese mi profundo orgullo y reconocimiento a todos ellos. 

María José, personal de limpieza de uno de nuestros centros, aseguraba el otro día que trabaja “más y mejor que nunca, porque éste también es mi hospital y quiero ayudar a que esta situación termine”. Y Cuca, administrativa del Hospital de día de pacientes oncológicos, nos contaba que no ha querido cogerse días libres porque “aquí somos una gran familia y en estos momentos nuestros pacientes nos necesitan”. Ángel, médico de Urgencias decía sentirse reconocido por los ciudadanos pues, “ellos no distinguen a los profesionales por el tipo de hospital en el que trabajan, a pesar del empeño de algunos políticos”. Ellos dicen que no son personas especiales, pero sus valores son un ejemplo para todos. Ahí lo dejo.

También quiero agradecer las abrumadoras muestras de solidaridad de personas, colectivos y empresas que están contribuyendo con sus donaciones y sus muestras de apoyo. Y, por supuesto, poner en valor el trabajo de los cuerpos y fuerzas de seguridad del Estado por su impresionante vocación de servicio público, sea cual sea la tarea que se les encomiende. Además, intentamos estar cerca de las instituciones, autonómicas y locales, para mantenerles al día de la evolución de la crisis. Porque la información y la transparencia son clave en un trabajo en equipo.

Ahora es el momento de empezar a poner las luces largas y prepararnos para afrontar una nueva realidad. Las heridas de esta pandemia en los servicios públicos, los hábitos sociales y la economía van a ser profundas. Y otra vez de nosotros depende que las superemos antes o después. Es necesario acabar con debates divisorios y fomentar los muchos puntos que nos unen. Se ha demostrado que esta pandemia no entiende de fronteras, de clases sociales ni de ideologías políticas. Y cuestionar la globalización y apostar por localismos arcaicos se ha demostrado erróneo porque otra de las enseñanzas de este virus es que la respuesta en la lucha debe ser global.

Es tentador ofrecer respuestas populistas y simples a escenarios complejos, pero sería una total equivocación. En Sanidad oigo mensajes de enfrentamiento de lo público o lo privado cuando sin la colaboración público-privada, la respuesta a la crisis hubiera sido una total hecatombe. Simplemente imposible. 

En la Economía escucho críticas a personalidades como Amancio Ortega o Juan Roig cuando están mostrando que son un ejemplo de compromiso y generosidad que les convierte en verdaderos referentes sociales. Mientras, en política, los diferentes líderes toman decisiones en función de lo que creen que va a mejorar su posición en el corto plazo. 

Y esta crisis no va de eso. Va de cambiar nuestras prioridades y valores sociales. De buscar consensos y acuerdos, de sumar. De generosidad, de escuchar, de agradecer. En definitiva, de ser más humildes. Nuestros líderes políticos tienen la oportunidad de afrontar este reto desde la grandeza y la visión de Estado. No sé si lo harán. Pero yo les pediría que cuando tomen sus decisiones tengan en la cabeza a los ancianos que han fallecido en las residencias porque no se les ha dado la prioridad asistencial que merecían. O el altísimo número de profesionales contagiados por no haberles provisto de suficiente material de protección. Unos profesionales que, aún con miedo, iban todos los días al hospital a luchar por todos nosotros. En este punto quiero agradecer al equipo de la central de compras de Ribera Salud su entrega y eficacia para evitar la extensión de los contagios entre nuestros profesionales. 

Ojalá todos los responsables de sacar adelante nuestra Nación estén a la altura de lo demostrado por todos los ciudadanos. 

(Este artículo fue publicado por el diario Levante-EMV el 7 de abril de 2020, Día Mundial de la Salud)


Alberto de Rosa, English

Generosity and a call to service: committed young people

31 marzo, 2020 • By

All the professionals at Ribera Salud Group are doing their best during this crisis caused by the COVID19 global pandemic. We’re an organisation of people who serve people, and over these past few weeks our staff has proved that it always takes the extra step to ensure the best possible care for those who need it. Words like involvement, calling, commitment, dedication, and determination fall short when it comes to describing the excellent work the team is doing. From physicians, nurses, assistants, technicians, and caretakers to admission, systems, administration, and cleaning personnel, there are always volunteers to cover shifts, help colleagues, keep our centres running at full capacity and, furthermore, to collaborate with the different initiatives we’ve implemented to make our patients’ stay as humane as possible, helping them feel as supported as possible in the solitude of isolation that this virus imposes.

So, in addition to the pride I feel in representing such a committed and passionate team of professionals, today I want to highlight the involvement, courage and solidarity of a group of nine students from the Nursing School at Povisa Hospital in Vigo, who have volunteered to work for the next two months as senior technicians in the country’s hotspot: the Community of Madrid. Despite being in their final year of school, this co-ed group (8 women and 1 man) wants to switch their focus to helping others and put everything they learned at the service of a society that needs them. Not only that, they face this challenge with enthusiasm, even with a sense of happiness for the opportunity to lend a helping hand. 

I’ve always been convinced that Spanish youth is much more than some would like to convey. And, without a doubt, this group of nursing students from Povisa are an example not only for other young people, but for society as a whole. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation for the enthusiasm with which you all have offered to work on the front line during such difficult and complex times. Because your decision is one of sacrifice and effort. Most are leaving Vigo (one is leaving the Canary Islands, where she lives, although she is completing her studies at Povisa) for Madrid, leaving their families and the comfort of their homes to work in a region that is suffering greatly from the harshest consequences of this global health crisis.

When Ribera Salud acquired Povisa, we knew that we were adding an iconic health project to the Group, a team of highly implicated and magnificent professionals, which also has an enormous asset: its Nursing School. We believed that this training centre was a value that should be preserved and promoted. And this group of student volunteers unquestionably proves that we were right.

The decision these young people have made to go to Madrid to work in the heart of the fight against the pandemic is news that has truly touched me. Because they represent, even before graduating, one of Ribera Salud’s core values: commitment. Because our organisation is committed to the professionals of today and tomorrow, to the health of our patients, to humane treatment, to closeness and involvement with the people we serve, to technology and to the quality of care we offer. And these young people represent the humanistic spirit, the vocation for service and the value of the commitment that Ribera Salud defends and conveys internally and with our patients. 

Not only that, but their sacrifice has special merit because they have taken the extra step in one of the most difficult moments in the recent history of our Healthcare system. And this is something that must be applauded, both as a health professional and as a citizen.

As I conclude, it’s worth mentioning that one of the lessons we are undoubtedly learning from this crisis is that the pride we feel for our Healthcare is not intangible, nor a generic name. Our Healthcare wouldn’t exist without the professionals who work for the Spanish healthcare system. Yes. We have the best healthcare professionals in the world. And the students from Povisa prove that this vocation for service lives on. That’s why we applaud our healthcare professionals every day. They’re our most precious and cherished asset.


Alberto de Rosa, Opinión

Vocación y generosidad: una juventud comprometida

29 marzo, 2020 • By

En esta crisis por la pandemia global del COVID19, todos los profesionales del grupo Ribera Salud están dando lo mejor de sí mismos. Somos una organización de personas que servimos a personas y en estas semanas nuestra plantilla ha demostrado que va siempre un paso más allá para garantizar la mejor atención posible a quienes más la necesitan. Palabras como implicación, vocación, compromiso, entrega o tesón se quedan cortas ante la excelencia de la labor que están haciendo. Médicos, enfermeros, auxiliares, técnicos, celadores, personal de Admisión, Sistemas, Administración, limpieza… Siempre hay voluntarios para cubrir turnos, ayudar a compañeros, mantener nuestros centros a pleno rendimiento y, además, colaborar con las diferentes acciones que estamos llevando a cabo para humanizar la estancia de nuestros pacientes y que se sientan lo más acompañados posible en la soledad del aislamiento al que obliga este virus.

Bueno, pues además del orgullo que siento por representar a un elenco de profesionales tan comprometido y vocacional, hoy quiero poner en valor la implicación, la valentía y la solidaridad de un grupo de nueve estudiantes de la Escuela de Enfermería del Hospital Povisa, en Vigo, que  se han ofrecido voluntarios para trabajar los dos próximos meses como técnicos superiores donde más casos se están produciendo, en la Comunidad de Madrid. Son estudiantes del último año, ocho chicas y un chico que quieren trabajar para los demás desde ya y poner al servicio de una sociedad que les necesita todo lo que han aprendido en sus años de formación. Y además, asumen este reto con ilusión y hasta con alegría por tener la oportunidad de colaborar. 

Siempre he tenido claro que la juventud española es mucho más de lo que algunos quieren trasladar. Y sin duda, este grupo de estudiantes de Enfermería de Povisa son un ejemplo para otros jóvenes y para todos. Desde este blog, les agradezco profundamente el entusiasmo con el que se han ofrecido a estar en la primera línea en un momento tan duro y complicado. Porque su decisión no está exenta de sacrificio y esfuerzo. Se marchan desde Vigo (y una compañera suya desde Canarias, donde reside, aunque estudia en Povisa) a Madrid, dejando a sus familias y la comodidad de su casa para trabajar en una región que está sufriendo especialmente las consecuencias más duras de esta crisis sanitaria global.

Cuando Ribera Salud adquirió Povisa, sabíamos que sumábamos al grupo un proyecto sanitario icónico, con un gran orgullo de pertenencia y magníficos profesionales, que además cuenta con un auténtico tesoro: su Escuela de Enfermería. Este centro de formación nos pareció un valor que hay que preservar y potenciar. Y sin duda, este grupo de voluntarios de la escuela demuestra que estábamos en lo cierto.

La decisión de estos jóvenes de trasladarse a Madrid para trabajar en el corazón de la lucha contra la pandemia es una noticia que me ha emocionado, la verdad. Porque ellos encarnan uno de los principales valores de Ribera Salud: la vocación de servicio. Porque nuestra organización está comprometida con los profesionales de hoy y los del mañana, con la salud de nuestros pacientes, con la humanización, con la cercanía y la proximidad a la población a la que atendemos, con la tecnología y con la calidad en la atención que ofrecemos. Y estos jóvenes representan el espíritu humanístico, la entrega y el valor del compromiso que Ribera Salud defiende y traslada internamente y con nuestros pacientes. 

Además, tienen un mérito especial porque han dado un paso al frente en uno de los momentos más difíciles de la historia reciente de nuestra Sanidad. Y esto es algo que hay que aplaudir como profesional de la Sanidad pero también como ciudadano.

Y acabo ya. Sin duda, una de las lecciones que estamos aprendiendo de esta crisis es que el orgullo que sentimos por la Sanidad no es un intangible, ni un sustantivo genérico. La Sanidad no “es” sin los profesionales que sustentan el sistema sanitario español. Sí. Tenemos los mejores sanitarios del mundo. Y los estudiantes de Povisa demuestran que la vocación continúa. Por eso cada día aplaudimos a los profesionales de la Sanidad. Ellos son nuestro valor más preciado y admirado.


Alberto de Rosa, English

The value of the local sphere

23 marzo, 2020 • By

It’s been one week since the government announced a state of alarm, and citizens and organisations are still struggling to adapt to these exceptional circumstances. We are all writing a line in the Story of managing this global pandemic, the first of the 21st century.

Every citizen plays their part in this situation: health professionals, pharmacists and researchers on front lines in the battle against the coronavirus; workers in basic services such as cleaning, transport, food and the security forces who help make sure that life doesn’t come to a complete halt. And our governments, each in their own area. The Central Government is trying to unify policies, collect daily information on the number of cases and give instructions and recommendations of a general nature, while regional governments, responsible for healthcare management in each territory, feed this chain of information, apply criteria coming from above and take the necessary decisions, transmitting them to the various healthcare management bodies.

I have no doubt that we’re all working along the same lines, towards maximum collaboration between institutions, with the belief that we will all win this battle together.

However, I believe that there is one player fundamental to this crisis, because of its importance as an agent of the health system and its closeness to citizens. I’m talking about city and town councils. In situations like this, the importance of municipal social services and their contact with the elderly and the most vulnerable groups at risk of exclusion, or the local police, essential to guaranteeing social isolation, is a reality that we should value at a time of maximum social tension, due to the circumstances we are facing and those that are still to come. 

And let’s not just think about the councils in big cities. The smaller the population, the more important the role of the local government due to its direct contact with citizens; they turn to it to raise doubts and concerns, and request services. These smaller municipalities often don’t have the possibility of using teleworking, which is why these public servants are also heroes during the crisis. 

At Ribera Salud we have always thought that one of our main missions as those responsible for our citizens’ healthcare is to work hand in hand with the community we serve. And to do so, there is no better formula than being fully integrated into the life of said community. We mutually support each other.

Regarding this, I am very proud as, right at the start of this health crisis, we launched an initiative to improve direct communication with local councils and to intensify coordination among all personnel. The heads of health departments managed by Ribera Salud have already held their first meetings with the mayors of all the municipalities in their areas via video conferencing. Councils as diverse as Torrevieja, Pilar de la Horadada, Orihuela, Elche, Aspe, Crevillente, Torrejón, Daganzo, and Ajalvir, among others, have participated in these coordination calls. And I would like to thank all the participating mayors for their commitment, enthusiasm and collaboration, as well as the enormous support they’ve given us over these past few days.

In these meetings, I can see four principles that I consider fundamental to healthcare management in the 21st century:

Communication between all the institutions, with the objective of always having an open channel for a quick response to an occurrence.

Transparency in explaining why decisions were made and receiving any suggestions that could help us improve and adapt to a constantly changing scenario.

Proximity, as local administrations and health departments have a higher degree of contact with citizens and are a very good source for attending to doubts and transmitting suggestions.

Coordination, because I think it is highly important that local police know the strategies of hospitals or how primary care is working first-hand, and that social services know they can receive training and information to do their job with maximum safety guarantees.

We’re all one. Each of Spain’s 8,131 city and town councils aims to work towards the general interest. For Ribera Salud, the importance of being integrated into the community where we serve goes beyond words. With these meetings we demonstrate the value of the local sphere in the global strategies of any institution or organisation through a very concrete action. Every link in the chain is important and we will continue to work along these lines. Now and forever.