UNIONS representing emergency service workers have complained that a major hospital was left without sufficient medical cover over the festive period.
In one incident a patient was having a heart attack but had to be accompanied to hospital by a doctor who, it is claimed, was not sufficiently trained to administer emergency health care on board an ambulance.
On the second occasion another patient with respiratory problems was taken to the Marina Baixa Hospital without a fully trained doctor accompanying them.
The claims are made by the Medical Association of Valencia (CESM).
It says the emergency service provider in Villajoyosa did not have a doctor available on call on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.
In the two examples cited, doctors from health centres and clinics had to leave other patients to go with the emergency cases to the hospital.
A CESM spokesperson claimed the medical authorities had not been made aware of the situation.
The “health emergency service for Alicante did not at any time inform the management of the Department of Health at the Marina Baixa”.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, family doctors have launched a campaign to highlight the pressures they are working under, claiming there are too many patients and too few doctors.
Casualty departments in major hospitals are saturated, according to the group, who claim at one stage 46 patients were waiting for hours to be seen in one A&E department.
The CESM are backing the campaign to obtain signatures from residents’ associations and the various departments of the hospitals affected, in a bid to put pressure on the Valencian Department of Health.