Overstretched doctor calls police due to packed-out emergency area at Torrevieja Hospital on Spain’s Costa Blanca

STAFF at Torrevieja Hospital want their boss to resign after patients faced massive waits for emergency room treatment.

The situation got so bad on Tuesday that the sole doctor on duty called the Guardia Civil to tell them he could not cope.

He asked for ambulances to take patients to other hospitals.

At one stage, 34 people were waiting to be seen in addition to 20 patients in cubicles and 12 people lying on stretchers parked in corridors.

It took less-serious cases up to 17 hours to be dealt with.

Torrevieja Hospital and its associated health department covering ten municipalities went into public management control in mid-October.

It was previously run for 15 years by private contractor Ribera Salud.

Ribera said that doctors and other medical staff have resigned because of the changeover and there has been criticism that patient services have rapidly declined since then.

The hospital’s staff committee has now written to the Valencian Ministry of Health and the Valencian Human Resources directorate calling for the resignation of newly-appointed Torrevieja health department chief, Pilar Santos.

Pilar Santos será la nueva gerente del departamento de Salud de Torrevieja - Alicanteplaza
PILAR SANTOS (Generalitat Valenciana Image)

The committee said that problems in the emergency room were ‘not down to doctors’ but were caused by ‘poor management’.

“People in the Torrevieja area don’t deserve this and we have warned for a long time that we have been losing doctors”, they added.

The Valencian government controversially decided not to renew Ribera Salud’s management contract which expired in mid-October.

Torrevieja Hospital won a string of national and international awards for its services and consistently had the shortest operation waiting lists of any hospital in the Valencian Community.

Problems, including substantially increased delays for operations, hit the Hospital of La Ribera in Alzira, Valencia Province, three years ago after it was forced back into public management.

The facility’s former director of nursing, Boro Llopis, described the change as having ‘destroyed the hospital’.


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