Spain’s health service mourns the loss of three medical directors to Covid-19 in 24 hours

Heartbreak as Dr Zelenko loses four-year battle with rare form of cancer. Image: Twitter Zelenko Labs

THE head of surgery at a Madrid hospital has died of coronavirus, the third medical director in Spain’s health service to die from Covid-19 in 24 hours.

Joaquín Díaz Domínguez, doctor and Director of Surgery at the University Hospital La Paz died yesterday in what has been described as a black Saturday, as directors from the capital and Albacete, as well as two nurses lost their lives in the same day.

The La Paz surgeon was a renowned medical expert with a long career at the centre, where he was also a professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM).

After hearing the news, employees gathered yesterday afternoon to pay tribute and stage a minute’s silence for the doctor who was “loved by all” his colleagues.


Tribute to Dr. Joaquín Díaz: CREDIT: Twitter

The Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, conveyed his condolences to family and friends and the President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, tweeted that Madrid’s health system has suffered  “terrible losses”: the death of Díaz together with the  Director of Neurosurgery at the Puerta de Hierro, Jesús Vaquero and the Medical Director and acting manager of the Santa Cristina University Hospital in Madrid, Emilio Úcar Corral.

Medical director Jesús Vaquero

The Spanish Society of Health Managers (SEDISA) confirmed that to date, eight health professionals have died from Covid-19 in the Community of Madrid.

These include a 61-year-old doctor from SUMMA, a 54-year-old radio-physicist from the Hospital de La Princesa, a 57-year-old nurse from Severo Ochoa, two primary care professionals – an auxiliary nurse and a warden – together with a ward manager.

A further victim of virus was Director of the Digestive Service of the Albacete Hospital Complex, Ricardo Pérez Flores, 62, who had underlying health problems.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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