Ambulance standoff escalates in Calpe, Costa Blanca

AMBULANCE: Red Cross service is essential, town hall says. Photo credit: Calpe town hall

CALPE’S Partido Popular in the Costa Blanca asked local political parties to back the townhall’s agreement with the Red Cross. As reported recently in the Euro Weekly News, Calpe town hall pays the Red Cross to supplement the regional health department’s ambulance service. The regional government has warned Calpe that this practice is unacceptable, as only the Generalitat may provide ambulances for the public health service. “But the basic ambulance service provided by the Department of Health, the competent Administration in this respect, is clearly insufficient for a municipality like ours,” the PP spokesman objected.

In April 2019 a Calpe resident called for an ambulance after her 80-year-old neighbour was taken ill at 8.09pm. When this did not arrive, she called once more at 8.40pm and again–by then “very angry”, the police report added–at 9.38. The elderly man neither responded, nor was he breathing, she complained. An ambulance still failed to appear, although at 9.42pm the Emergency Information and Coordination Centre (CICU) informed her that a Basic Vital Support ambulance had left Denia. At 9.43pm, the woman called to say that she believed her neighbour was dead. She again asked for an ambulance at 9.59pm and once more at 10.02pm.

A Policia Local officer stressed in his log that ambulances take “at least” 30 minutes to arrive and “on many occasions” come from Denia. It was contradictory, he added, that the CICU could not send a Red Cross ambulance which never took more than 10 minutes to arrive. This is one of 12 police reports that will be attached to Calpe mayor Ana Sala’s motion which will make a formal request to the regional government to solve the ongoing problem.

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