The nurses union has joined forces with patient organisations to denounce the “atrocious” state of Andalucian hospitals.
They have published a series of damning reports of patient overcrowding, doctors working so long they faint, patients being sent home unattended, and the like.
However, the Andalucian Health Service (SAS) continues to deny that anything is wrong, and says that the nurses union SATSE is simply blowing things out of proportion.
The directors of two Seville hospitals, Macarena and Virgen del Rocio, have both been fired in the last week after their hospitals were unable to cope with an influx of patients suffering from swine flu. Patients continue to publish on social media sites photos of people connected to respiratory machines sitting in waiting rooms, and even of one critically ill patient being found a bed in the maternity ward!
But the SAS continues to deny that anything is wrong, saying only that “punctual problems are being taken out of context”.
SATSE responded by showing a picture of 150 patients outside a hospital in Jaen waiting to be attended, a backlog due to the fact that there just weren’t enough doctors and nurses on duty, and those that were there, were doing unpaid overtime.
SATSE also published proof that 23 beds in the main Malaga hospital maternity wing were being used for patients with a range of illnesses, pointing out that the last thing you want near the newborns are a bunch of people with contagious illnesses. And: only one nurse on duty.
The unions say that staff and budget cuts have left Andalucia’s network of hospitals at breaking point, and poor planning ahead of the flu epidemic sweeping the region is, basically, overwhelming the system.