Patients waiting to be treated in the Clínico hospital. :: SUR
Desperation felt in overcrowded hospitals with too few beds and staff
The overcrowding that has affected Malaga’s two main hospitals this winter requires the adoption of urgent measures to alleviate the situation.
Professionals from the Carlos Haya and Clínico hospitals have complained that the number of patients needing treatment has grown to a volume they cannot deal with effectively.
Reductions in hiring doctors and nurses (down by 25 per cent) is partly to blame for the situation. “As hard as we try we cannot cope,” said a specialist with a permanent post.
Another factor is the lack of beds in the two hospitals. This has led to bottlenecks in the emergency department where patients have waited, on occasion, up to 72 hours to be treated.
“There have always been queues in the emergency department but the situation is now chronic. We need more staff and better bed management otherwise it is going to get worse,”, said a emergency department doctor.
The problem also is that parts of both hospitals are outdated, uncomfortable and cramped. At Carlos Haya the hospital is going to improve its facilities with a reorganisation of space in the emergency department.
The works will begin once the high winter levels of illness have eased, will take two months and cost 55,000 euros.
The ‘Sindicato de Enfermería’ (SATSE or nurses’ union) representative at Carlos Haya, José María de la Rosa, goes further by stating that “Malaga needs another hospital. If that is not possible then at least we need to make more space for more beds”.