Rural chemists under threat

The Hospital de Sant Joan in Alicante has removed 14 beds from its allocation in the emergency department, causing sick patients to have to wait hours in corridors awaiting treatment r transfer, according to reports from the UGT union. However, the beds are still in the hospital, but are being occupied by patients receiving speciality treatments, due to development work being carried out at the hospital. In particular, work is being carried out in the Oncology department, which has seen 40 patients displaced, whilst the lighting system is upgraded. Union representatives report that this is causing a higher than acceptable workload on staff, who are sometimes operating at 98% of their capacity.

Representatives of rural pharmacies across the Valencia region have announced the imminent risk of closure of establishments, unless the government pay the agreed compensation to those unable to earn a minimum amount of revenue. The Rural Pharmacists Association of Alicante, Afarpa, stated this week that in early 2011 the Government approved the measure which established a protocol that pharmacies with a turnover below 12,500 euro per month would be paid compensation. However, despite the plan to start the process in the beginning of 2012, so far nothing has been paid. In the province of Alicante alone there are 70 rural pharmacies providing assistance to a population of around 28,000 people, according to estimates by the College of Pharmacists of the province of Alicante. In Valencia there are 200 establishments of this kind. The group also states that regardless of this compensation, “these pharmacies are also affected by the decline in the price of drugs, the decline in prescriptions dispensed and debt defaults”.

In order to save money during a period of time they consider to be quietest, the Hospital Universitario de Elche will cut 100 beds over the summer months, which the health department say, “is not something new, in fact, we´ve been doing it for some time”. They saw that statistics show that the average load balance in the summer is 70%, “whereas the average occupancy level throughout the rest of the year is 86%”. A number of theatres and specialist units will also close down for the summer, allowing doctors to concentrate on the 10% to 20% increase in demand at the emergency room.

The Feline and Canine Association, Felcan, has announced a first aid course specifically designed for treating animals. The talk, which will take place at the Casa de la Cultura de Rocafort, will be given by a local vet Victor Perez. This course is intended for individuals and voluntary welfare groups who need a minimum skill set for the ability to respond to an accident or illness of dogs or cats and is about knowing the “rudiments of action prior to the visit of a professional”. The subjects will be quite broad, covering topics such as the microchip law or regulation in general, treating conditions such as heat stroke, fractures, sterilization and psychological pregnancies, amongst many others, followed by a question and answer session. The syllabus in full and all information about the course can be found on the Felcan website,

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