A BOY, 8, was left on a plastic chair for seven hours after an operation due to a lack of beds at El Ejido public hospital (Almeria), his father complained.
Jose Antonio Amat, a provincial deputy for conservative Partido Popular, said his son was put in a plastic reclining chair after an appendicitis operation because no hospital bed was available at the hospital. He was covered with a blanket and with a pillow placed under his back to make him more comfortable, for four hours with an open wound in the Paediatric Observation Ward, where he claims it was impossible to turn off the air-conditioning.
He was allegedly told that the hospital had been affected by budget cuts and he could either go to Torrecardenas Hospital, or wait there until there was a bed.
Seven hours later he was given a bed, but meanwhile, 17 beds remain unused on the fifth floor due to lack of staff. Twenty-four hours later he was admitted and given a room.
His parents claim that his case was not an exception, and that many patients are suffering, but the doctors are overwhelmed by the amount of work and lack of facilities. Rosalia Espinosa, a PP member of the Andalucian Parliament, has complained that beds on the fifth floor are not being used “to save money, because there is only one nurse and one assistance nurse”, and announced she would demand an explanation from the Health Deparment.
El Ejido Hospital is also lacking oncology, rheumatology, and endocrinology departments, and the cardiology and neurology departments are overstaffed.
By Jennifer Leighfield