Unions predict longer waiting lists

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LONGER waits for operations in Malaga’s public hospitals are expected this autumn following a summer which saw theatres, beds and wards closed for holidays, meaning waiting lists have grown.

Satse nurses’ union has reported that patients with pending routine surgery could see their wait increased by four or five months as doctors stressed that it would take a long time to get back on top of demand.

Although waiting lists are a generalised problem nationwide, Malaga Province is one of the worst affected by summer setbacks and cutbacks by both the central and regional governments, doctors complain.

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Old hand within the health system Jose Maria de la Rosa, Satse delegate at Carlos Haya hospital in Malaga City, predicted that the coming months would be tough on hospital staff, who will be forced to try and make up for what hasn’t been done in July and August as holiday leave was not covered by temps.

Meanwhile Juan Miguel Contioso, provincial UGT union secretary, said: “This autumn will be cold, very cold, for Malaga’s public health system. The only heat will come from annoyed patients and the situation could blow up at any time. The Andalucian Health System’s (SAS) staff reduction policy is causing people a lot of harm.”

Yet the SAS insisted that activity had been normal over the summer and that hospitals were fully prepared to meet increased workloads in autumn.

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