NEARLY 7,700 patients are waiting for an appointment with the specialist at Alicante General Hospital on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
This is according to figures from the CCOO trade Union, which says around 1,300 of the patients are having to wait between six months and a year and 2,153 have a delay of between three and six months.
By specialities, the biggest lists are in Allergology, Rehabilitation, Vascular Surgery, Traumatology and the Pain Unit.
These specialities, with the exception of Vascular Surgery, are also the ones that have the biggest number of patients waiting for an appointment between three and six months. In the case of Rehabilitation there are 583.
According to the union four people having been waiting to see a specialist in Traumatology for more than a year.
Rehabilitation, with 177 days, and the Pain Unit, with 158 days, have the longest waits for a consultation.
Now the CCOO says these figures, which were taken at the end of October, could well get worse in the coming months as the lack of consultation in the summer holiday months feed through into the waiting lists. On top of that the Christmas holiday period will also lengthen queues further into the new year.
The union is calling for an increase in staffing and the building of a third hospital in the city to cope with increasing demand from an ageing population.
The General Hospital of Alicante has been news recently when the case of a 92-year-old woman with serious dementia was highlighted. She has been waiting 11 months for an appointment in Neurology, although the specialist told the family she needed a six-monthly follow-up.
The hospital has now said that it “is reviewing the reservation procedure of the Neurology service and will carry out a restructuring of it, with the aim of reducing the waiting list as much as possible.”
Sources at the General Hospital add that the Patient Care and Information Service has no written complaints about the case of the elderly woman.