MARBELLA – The Costa del Sol health district needs twice as many ambulances as there are now to serve the population. Trade union estimates 10 additional ambulances would make up for the shortfall.
That means double the number of existing ambulances. For example, in Marbella (147,633 registered residents in 2020) there are only four ambulances, one of which is an ambulance for urgent health care or transferring patients between hospitals. And it’s not just in Marbella that there’s a shortage. The entire Costa del Sol district, according to radio station OndaCero, is working below recommended levels for amblances per population.
The standard recommendation, according to the unions, is one ambulance for every 25,000 inhabitants. However, practice shows the district needs double the number to meet all health recommendations.
Beyond that, the above estimate does take into account the fact that, ordinarily, the population on the Costa del Sol doubles or triples during the summer months. The health district covers the entire coastal zone from Torremolinos to Manilva. It also includes some inland municipalities such as Istán, Ojén and Casares.
Malaga’s healthcare CCOO representative, ambulance service concessionaire Francisco Javier Aranda, outlined the vehicle types and needs. These have also been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In Estepona there are two normal units and an ambulance for transfers. These three vehicles serve all of Estepona (70,228 inhabitants), Manilva and Casares (together 34,322). The same situation also occurs in Fuengirola, Mijas and Benalmádena, which together have more than 237,000 registered inhabitants.