Call for security guards as health centre staff on Spain’s Costa Blanca suffer rising abuse from angry patients

RISING cases of verbal and physical assaults on Torrevieja area health centre staff has led to calls for better security.

Unions are demanding security guards to protect workers at facilities that are open for 24 hours.

They fear incidents will rise over the summer holiday period as the local population swells with the arrival of domestic and foreign tourists.

A letter sent to the management of the Torrevieja Health department describes health workers as feeling ‘vulnerable’.

Torrevieja’s La Loma health centre is the only one in the area to have security staff.

Unions want a similar service to be provided at ’round-the-clock’ centres in Guardamar, the Orihuela Costa, Pilar de la Horadada, Rojales, and San Miguel de Salinas.

Signs at all those centres warn people of the legal consequences of any verbal or physical aggression towards staff.

Two incidents occurred this week at the Orihuela Costa health centre.

Orihuela Costa Centro De Salud
ORIHUELA COSTA CENTRE RECEPTION

On Tuesday, a man shouted at reception staff to immediately see his doctor despite being repeatedly told that he needed an appointment.

The next day, receptionists got in the neck from a patient who repeatedly banged his fist on the counter.

He then threw stuff around and kicked in the front door which suffered significant damage.

Unions said staff rung the Orihuela Policia Local and were told there was no patrol available to help them out.

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