The pace of construction at the new health centre n Fuengirola. SUR
Fuengirola faces another busy summer holiday season without its long-awaited new health centre

Fuengirola faces another busy summer holiday season without its long-awaited new health centre

Despite the surging population, the Costa del Sol town has just two health centres in operation because the Los Pacos facility is still not ready

Lorena Cádiz


Monday, 1 July 2024

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Fuengirola faces another busy summer without the long-awaited Los Pacos health centre, despite construction starting at the end of 2022.

Residents have demanded a new health centre for decades as the town, despite its surging population, only has two in operation: Los Boliches and Fuengirola Oeste which both serve about 40,000 people.

The Los Pacos health centre is planned to take in some 18,000 residents from the Los Pacos, Torreblanca and Carvajal neighbourhoods. But, despite construction which was supposed to be completed in January, Fuengirola faces another busy summer with just two operational health centres. There is still no planned opening date for the Los Pacos centre, or at least the Junta de Andalucía has not provided one.

"It is impossible for it to open this summer," said Antonio de la Cruz Cantero, the Medical Union's delegate for the Costa del Sol. According to the latest information, "the building is finished, but Endesa has yet to sign off so that testing of the equipment can begin", he added.

Fift health professionals

The organisation of staff is also pending. When work started, it was announced that the centre would house up to 34 consulting rooms, six of them paediatrics and two multi-purpose; it will also have minor surgery services, a dental office, nursery education, rehabilitation, physiotherapy and radiology, with an estimated 50 health professionals.

"We know that they are going to transfer professionals from the Los Boliches health centre to Los Pacos, but we still don't know how the staff will be organised," De la Cruz said. He also criticised this measure: "If they take the doctors from one centre to another, the care load that currently exists, and which is much greater than it should be, will remain the same. In Los Boliches there will be fewer patients, but there will also be fewer doctors".

According to a study carried out by the Medical Union, based on the number of vacancies and the population served, the Los Boliches health centre currently needs five more family doctors than there are at present, while Fuengirola Oeste needs one more.

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