Andalusian health service goes back to in-person appointments with the doctor

This region is the first in Spain to restore the service since the pandemic began

ALBERTO GÓMEZ

The Junta de Andalucía regional government announced this week it is bringing back the opportunity to see a doctor in person at its public health centres from 1 October.

Regional president, Juanma Moreno, said that Andalucía was the first region in Spain to reinstate the service. However, he added that the option to have a telephone consultation instead would remain, as some prefer it or are still worried about Covid-19 contagion.

Regional Health Service officials believe it makes sense for repeat prescriptions and results of tests to be dealt with over the phone in the future.

Unions have backed the move but urged that safety measures in health centres should stay in place.

“Whoever wants to see their family doctor face to face can do so, and whoever wants a telephone call [instead] can do so,”Moreno explained.

Health officials say phone calls could still be useful to get the results of tests or ask for repeat prescriptions, and so they will introduce the option of a phone call from now on.

“It is understandable that many people don’t want to travel due to lack of transport, caution or fear of contagion, and we respect them,” Moreno added, highlighting that Andalucía is the first region in the country to guarantee a face-to-face appointment again if required.

The Medical union in Malaga has indicated that it is in favour of going back to face-to-face appointments again.

“In fact, this didn’t completely disappear during the pandemic. We demand that measures controlling access and separate ‘Covid routes’ [within health centres] are maintained, to guarantee safety for both patients and staff. For the same reason, we are in favour of keeping phone consultations (20%of activity), the union said.

To make an appointment call Salud Responde (955 54 50 60), use ClicSalud+ online, the app Salud Responde or go to your health centre.