Andalusia defied its own referendum and renamed the military hospital

Andalusia defied its own referendum and renamed the military hospital with the least chosen option

“It should not be the government of Andalusia that decides the official name of this hospital. “We have taken the most sensible, fair and democratic decision to open a referendum so that all health workers in the province of Seville can decide what the name of this wonderful new hospital should be.” The President of the Junta de Andalucía, Juan Manuel Moreno, therefore announced on February 2, 2022 announced the launch of a telematic consultation so that the Sevillian professionals of the Andalusian Health Service could choose the new name with which to designate the Military Hospital of Seville, until then baptized Vigil de Quiñones.

Ultimately, however, it was the board that decided on the hospital center's new name. This emerges from the official results of the referendum, known almost a year after the start of the second phase – on March 7, 2023 – since they insisted on knowing them from the family of Lieutenant Rogelio Vigil of Quiñones, the last on the Philippines. The current name, Hospital Doctor Muñoz Cariñanos, received 16.5% of the vote, the lowest number of votes of the four options for which SAS members had to vote. The first two were Rosalía Robles Cerdán and Vigil de Quiñones, with 63%. In third place was Miguel de Mañara with 20.4%.

This emerges from the results that the family of Vigil de Quiñones was able to obtain after requesting the data from the Andalusian administration through the transparency portal, after unsuccessfully trying to contact the SAS directly. The Andalusian government initially only told family members why it had decided to remove the names of Muñoz Cariñanos' competitors. Regarding the third place, Miguel de Mañara, the patron saint of the Golden Age and founder of the Order of Charity, it was argued that “there is a charitable institution in Seville associated with the Sevillian nobleman,” alluding to the hospital of charity. As for one of the first, Rosalía Robles, midwife, founder and president of the Official College of Midwives of Seville, because “due to her status as a woman” and her profession, “the department decided to reserve her name to assign it to the future”. Women's Hospital”, depending on the Virgen Macarena. It was not argued why Vigil de Quiñones was omitted, but it was explained that “considering its roots in the city of Seville”, it was decided to keep this name for the entire health district of Seville. Regarding the election of Muñoz Cariñanos, who was assassinated by ETA in his office in 2000, it was stated that this was due to “his dual status as a member of the armed forces and a specialist doctor”.

Sources from the Ministry of Health have told this newspaper that “the names of the Seville Health District Vigil de Quiñones, the Doctor Muñoz Cariñanos Hospital and the future Hospital for Mothers, Children and Women Rosalía Robles Cerdán are the result of a series of political decisions,” following previous, optional and non-binding advice.” Moreno promised on February 2, 2022 that the name would emerge from the referendum in which the SAS workers of Seville would take part in a “process with all democratic guarantees,” for which, he said, he was a company that did this would carry out the security check. The CEO also said that day that the voting rules would be posted so everyone could know them.

The telematic voting procedure was activated in March 2022 in two phases: a first in which professionals could submit their proposals – 1,600 were received – and a second, activated on March 7, 2023, in which workers could vote for three days. The sources consulted state that the consultation had a low turnout of 11.68%, representing 3,251 votes out of a count of 27,841 professionals. For the family of Vigil de Quiñones, as an interlocutor explains to this newspaper, it is obvious that the name change was neither really a priority nor in the interest of the SAS professionals, who had no problem with the name of the family hospital. .

The interlocutor expresses the respect and affection of the Sevillian society for Vigil de Quiñones, appreciating the career and importance of this doctor, scientist and soldier who discovered the natural antidote to the beriberi disease that ended the lives of many besieged on the island Luzon, where the so-called last of the Philippines sought refuge in the church of Baler. Reasons that, according to his descendants, justify that the military hospital bears his name since its inauguration on June 27, 1980.

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When Moreno presided over the fourth inauguration of the new military hospital, recovered by the Andalusian government after years of neglect, he announced its new name and announced that Seville's health district would be renamed Vigil de Quiñones. “It is a fair and double recognition.”