Doctors in Málaga health centres can no longer cope with ‘constant nightmare’

by Lorraine Williamson
constant nightmare for GPs

MALAGA – According to the ¡Basta Ya! doctors’ collective, ‘doctors in Málaga can no longer cope with the constant nightmare of work in the health centres’. Besides more budget for primary care, organisational changes are needed for the ‘overwhelmed and frustrated’ doctors in Málaga’s health centres. 

¡Basta Ya! describes the current situation in the health centres – exacerbated by the pandemic – as a ‘constant nightmare’. They say they are ‘overwhelmed and frustrated; and demand not only more budget for care but also organisational changes. Currently, about 18% of total healthcare funding goes to primary care, but both organisation and professionals are pushing for this to be increased to 25%. 

Pandemic increases pressure 

In a statement, ¡Basta Ya! doctors say that they have had to endure the situation ‘for decades’, but that pandemic has made it even worse. They therefore stress the importance of changing now. For a start, they argue, because the primary care doctor has become ‘the gateway to the system, the prescriber and the solver of everything the other categories and levels of care do not or will not do’.  

Puppets of marketing 

¡Basta Ya! also points to the ‘heavy and prolonged overload’ of doctors during the pandemic’. They did their work with ‘precarious means’ and ‘without adequate protection for a long time. These professionals are ‘under the permanent influence of a number of individuals or companies who have major economic interests in health’ and who ‘commodify and medicalise health’. The interest is great; ‘primary health care solves up to 90% of disease cases,’ according to ¡Basta Ya! which also points out in its statement that many doctors at this level of care sometimes feel that they are ‘puppets of the marketing’. 

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Less time for the patient 

There are primary care doctors who are literally broken and have sought other solutions to the untenable situation they have been in for years. Often this results in ‘haste’ which makes the relationship between the professional and the patient less human. 

 ¡Basta Ya! also sees that some of the visitors ‘act in an irresponsible manner’ by abusing the health system and medical consultations. ‘This is like cancer to public health, which exhausts and overburdens us unnecessarily,’ says ¡Basta Ya! Moreover, it is the patients who really need medical help who are the main victims of this situation. 

Departure from Málaga 

The organisation recalls that doctors have ‘fled’ from Málaga to other autonomous communities, other countries or to the private health sector. And some have even hung up their white coats and stopped practising medicine. The conclusion of ¡Basta Ya! is: ‘We have a shortage of doctors and without doctors there is no public health’. 

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