I was never convinced by Patricia Gómez. Yes she was a qualified nurse, yes she had a masters in health planning, yes she was formerly the government’s director of social health care, but when she was appointed health minister in 2015, I formed an impression of her having been over-promoted.

Until recently, her time as minister had been relatively calm. There was the ballyhoo about Catalan requirements in the health service, but otherwise she was able to command the government’s largest departmental budget without provoking controversies or undue criticism. In parliament on Tuesday she received a roasting from the opposition. The PP in essence branded her management of the crisis a total failure. This was, I felt, a harsh assessment. She acknowledged that there had been some errors, while any shortages of supplies have hardly been unique to the Balearics.

By contrast with this political attack, I was sent a link to an article which lauded Gómez and approaches adopted in the Balearics, such as the early introduction of medical “flying” teams to monitor people at home. “High praise,” I suggested to my correspondent, who replied that the author had stated that Gómez was a friend. Fair point, but nevertheless the article gave, I thought, an objective appraisal of the virus management in the Balearics, where the level of infection has been comparatively low.

I am now more convinced by the minister, while stressing that it is those on the health care front line who most merit praise.


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