Wednesday, 26 April 2023, 14:09
Workers at the Costa del Sol hospital in Marbella are demanding the Andalusian regional government address a claimed major shortage of staff at the health facility.
Employees went on a 30-minute strike on Tuesday, 25 April, at the outpatients’ door of the hospital to demand an increase in staff to help spread the workload.
Workers said that there had been staff shortages since the Costa del Sol Public Healthcare Business Agency, which operated the Costa del Sol hospitals in Marbella, Estepona and Benalmádena, was dissolved and integrated into the Andalusian public health service (SAS) at the start of 2022.
"The professionals are asking the health service for the staffing levels be at least equal to those of SAS hospitals with similar characteristics, which even though they are under-staffed with respect to what is considered adequate staffing levels, have a higher ratio of professionals/patients than those of the hospital in Marbella," hospital workers argued.
The employees claim the intensive care unit is equipped to accommodate 15 patients, but was only staffed with enough workers to care for ten. Workers also claimed there was no specialist technician dedicated to the blood bank unit. They also said that staff shortages had escalated to a critical point in the accident and emergency department, where there were delays for triage of more than 15-20 minutes.
"Part of this problem could be solved with the opening of the Estepona Hospital at its full capacity. This opening was announced by the Junta de Andalucía for the first half of 2021, but the reality is that today the centre is only partially open,” workers added.
However, the Junta de Andalucía regional government has hit back at the workers' claims and maintained that since 2019 the number of staff at the Costa del Sol hospital and its affiliated centres had increased overall by about 25%.
"All of this with the aim of improving services and facilitating accessibility to the healthcare system for the public, improving efficiency and focusing on the humanisation of healthcare," said a spokesperson.
"These extra workers have allowed the opening of new centres such as the HAR hospital in Estepona, a facility which would bolster health services on the Costa del Sol," they added.
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