Alert raised over state of SAS ambulances in Axarquia after fire breaks out

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Alert raised over state of SAS ambulances in Axarquia after fire breaks out
Alert raised over state of SAS ambulances in Axarquia after fire breaks out Credit: CSIF

An alert has been raised over the state of SAS ambulances in Axarquia after a fire broke out in an advance life support unit in Velez-Malaga.

The Central Independent Trade Union and Civil Servants, CSIF has spoken out over the poor maintenance of ambulances. They said: “The Central Independent Trade Union and Civil Servants, CSIF, in Malaga, warns of the poor maintenance of health transport vehicles of the Andalucian Health Service (SAS) by ASM Ambulances, the company in charge of it, in the health area of the Axarquia, after the advanced life support unit of Velez-Malaga burned this Monday.

“Fortunately, all the occupants of the vehicle at the time of the incident – a medical emergency technician, a doctor and a nurse – were able to leave the vehicle before it caught fire. However, CSIF believes that this incident, which has put workers and users at significant risk, could have been avoided if ASM had carried out proper maintenance work on the ambulances.”

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The union added that: “As far as this union has been able to learn, the workers themselves, both health emergency technicians and medical staff of the health centre of the municipality, have complained several times in the last 10 days to the company to check the condition of the burned ambulance, after detecting various problems and malfunctions, without ASM taking any action. In addition, CSIF has been warning for years about the lack of maintenance by the company, and has repeatedly reported the poor condition of the vehicles, both to ASM officials in Malaga and to the SAS, calling for urgent action to ensure the safety of workers and users.

“More than a year ago, in March 2020, the union took the medical transport company to the Labour Inspectorate for the poor maintenance of the vehicles, denouncing that the ambulances used in the Axarquia health area for the transfer of patients were not subject to any type of review, with the consequent risk to workers and patients.

“The lack of maintenance was evident in the state of the tyres of some ambulances, as well as in the interior of the vehicles, where some of the elements with which the ambulances are equipped, such as oxygen cylinders, were fastened with a simple crepe bandage.


“This union denounces that, more than a year later, this problem has not been solved, and continues to represent a major risk factor for the safety and health of the workers involved, as well as for the patients transferred in these vehicles.

“For all these reasons, CSIF has once again called for a review of the state of the ambulances assigned to the Axarquia health area, and for the necessary actions to be taken to guarantee safe conditions. For this union, which does not rule out any action, it is unacceptable that both the company awarded the contract and the administration, who are aware of these breaches, allow the service to be provided in these conditions, compromising the health and safety of all those involved.”


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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