At present, Jalon, on the Costa Blanca has what amounts to 1.5 doctors for a population of 2,739. Marina Salud, the concessionary company that provides the Marina Baja’s outsourced healthcare, has failed to replace the doctor who retired recently. More than half of Jalon’s population is over 55, an age group often needing more medical attention but instead of two doctors, they have one working full-time and another who is part-time.
Residents have not been slow to complain and more than 1,000 signed a petition asking Marina Salud to bring back their two full-time doctors. They are not asking for more healthcare, Jalon residents said, but simply want a return to the former situation. Isaura Navarro, a high-ranking official from the regional government’s health department, recently visited Jalon where she accepted the petition.
“This situation is intolerable given that the full-time doctor has to attend to 1,765 registered patients which exceeds health department recommendations,” Navarro declared when she met Jalon mayor Joan Miquel Garces and the local health councillor Lara Avella. It was unacceptable that the outsourced concessionary, Marina Salud, failed to cover vacancies when doctors retired or were on leave.
“The Generalitat pays the same amount for each inhabitant that it spends on its own public health service,” Navarro said. “Consequently, they should be giving the same service and that is not happening in Jalon.”