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Fewer beds and Closed Clinics – The Reality of Summer Health Cuts

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Following the reality that the regional government has cut the health budget for this summer, further delving into the proposals reveal that the results will be fewer beds available, health centres shutting their doors early, and some summer clinics not even opening, at a time when the population explodes due to the season, and in the midst of an increase in Covid cases.

It is acknowledged that there is a nationwide shortage of doctors and medical staff in the public health system, partly because many of them prefer to work in the private sector for better pay and conditions, and partly because of the disparity between regions, where, again, they can get better pay and conditions, such as neighbouring Murcia for example, but rather than improving those conditions, the regional government’s solution is the redistribution of care hours, which will include, if necessary, the reduction of service hours in some centres, the mobility of doctors between the areas of interdepartmental health groups, and incentives for reinforcement modules.

The document presented to the unions includes an additional 23% cut in hospital beds compared to other years and the closure of four new health centres. The bed closure plan contemplates 891 fewer than in usual circumstances in the month of July, compared to 692 in 2023. Meanwhile, in August it will be 1,010 compared to 849 the previous year and in September 812 compared to 547.

“We are facing a summer with certain health centres saturated and with an overload of work for staff who, we remember, are already under a lot of pressure in their daily lives,” point out the Federation of Public Services of UGT País Valencià.

Meanwhile, from the Federation of Health and Social and Health Sectors, FSS CCOO PV, after indicating that the Ministry should have presented the plan in advance, it considered “unacceptable” that four days before the beginning of the vacation period proposed by the Ministry of Health, it was “solely to inform, since the unions have not been given the opportunity to negotiate or make contributions”.

Locally, amongst the four summer clinics that will not open this year, Santa Pola will not see the clinic at Platja Lisa, with those patients having to be served at Gran Alacant and Casa del Mar.

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