The Mayor of Calpe, Ana Sala, accompanied by Ana Perles, Councillor for Health, travelled today to Alicante to meet Encarna Llinares, the Regional Government Commissioner for Health. The aim of the meeting is to find a solution to the problem of patient transport in Calpe.
Last January, the Calpe City Council informed the regional government representatives of the precarious situation. In recent years, the City Council has signed a cooperation agreement with the Calpe Red Cross, which has made it possible to maintain the transport of sick people at the expense of the city. But ambulance transport is a competence of the regional government, and the city is therefore unable to maintain the service.
At the moment the service is inadequate: a Soporte Vital Básico to transport sick people to the Hospital de Denia, the SAMU Emergency Service based in Benissa and the TNA Service (unaccompanied ambulance) based in Denia. It is often the case that the Soporte Vital Básico is not able to transport patients from the Urbanizaciones or from the city centre to the Centro de Salud Calpe if the car is transporting somebody else to the Hospital de Dénia. In such situations, the SAMU emergency service will be needed and will have to travel from Benissa to Calpe - unless it currently has another service - to the home or the place where the patient or casualty is to be transported to the Centro de Salud.
The programmed TNA service (unaccompanied ambulance) transports the sick to the hospital to facilitate participation in external and programmed visits to the doctor. However, the TNA service is not suitable for emergencies. Due to the population structure of Calpe - where many elderly people live due to the high density of foreigners - and the widely dispersed municipal area - where 50% of the population live in urbanizaciones outside the city centre, the problem becomes particularly acute when more tourists come to the city. Because of these circumstances and the great distance between Calpe and Denia (34 kilometres) and the increased population in the summer, the city reinforced the service in the summer with various temporary workers.
There is a lack of paediatricians
Another point discussed at the meeting was the lack of paediatricians at the Centro de Salud de Calpe. In fact, only one paediatrician is responsible for the entire population. Llinares drew the city's attention to the low number of paediatricians in Spain and explained that more paediatricians would be hired in the near future.
New Centro de Salud
Another demand of the city in terms of health is the demand for the establishment of a second health centre, since the present one dates back to 1990, when the Calpe population was 9,000 people. Today, Calpe has 22,000 registered residents, to which must be added the thousands of tourists who visit us every year, and although a clinic is set up in the beach area during the summer, there is still a need for better health infrastructure.