Local Daily News 12th June

The lack of child psychologists delays the follow-up of children with mental health problems to a month and a half

More suicide attempts, more self-harm and a general increase in mental disorders. It is the effect that the coronavirus pandemic has left in children and young people. For a year and a half, the demand for ordinary appointments in the Children’s Mental Health Units of the public network has doubled and in the case of preferential appointments, which must be attended with relative urgency, they have even tripled.

An avalanche of cases that run into a scarce network of professionals, especially in the case of child psychologists. The lack of specialists means that the first appointments to see patients are taking place, in non-urgent or preferential cases, with between 4 and 5 months of delay, in several Child Mental Health Units in the province. However, where the specialists place the greatest problems is in the follow-ups. Psychologists are seeing their patients on average every month and a half or two months, which is very insufficient for the proper treatment of their problems, since these professionals ask that they be able to see them at least every two weeks.

“Depending on the therapeutic strategy, this delay has more or less repercussions,” explains Tomás Cantó, president of the promoting board of Avalpia, the Valencian Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. When the consultation considers following a behavioural treatment, which requires a change in the behaviour and emotions of the child or young person, “the programs say that the visits have to be given every week or two weeks and that is very rare.” that can be done in the Valencian Community”, says Cantó. Only when the patient’s situation improves “these consultations can be extended”.

One of the consequences of these delays is that in the end it is necessary to resort to pharmacological treatment. However, the most worrying thing about not attending to cases with due regularity is that the problems become entrenched. “Losing a year or two at this time has repercussions in adulthood.” Tomás Cantó recalls that 50% of mental disorders appear before the age of 14 and 75% before the age of 18. “Treating these problems adequately reduces years of suffering and problems in adulthood.”

Another of the derivatives of these delays is that more and more families who can afford it choose to go private. There the landscape changes. “In the beginning, you dedicate more than one day a week to them, because you need to establish a follow-up with the parents and the school,” says Marina García, a psychologist at the Psicoactúa centre in Alicante. This professional also shares the opinion that in the case of children it is essential to see them more frequently than adults. “An adult has a greater capacity for reflection and abstract thought, while a child cannot integrate so easily what he has seen in the session.” In the case of therapies based on medication, it is not necessary for this follow-up to be so frequent. “You start seeing them every two weeks and then space it out.”

The Ministry of Health has structurally increased the staff of the Mental Health Units of the Valencian Community, with 259 new positions (42 psychiatrists, 100 clinical psychologists, 44 nurses, 33 social workers and 24 occupational therapists, among others). An increase in professionals, which although historical, continues to leave the ratios of psychologists below those recommended in international standards.

In addition, according to some children’s units, there are specialists who have not yet been able to join because they are filling positions in the adult units. In some smaller and neighbouring departments they also have problems finding professionals. Health also announced almost a year ago the creation of a children’s day centre in the province of which nothing is known yet.

With the reinforcements, the delays in the first appointments have been reduced somewhat. “We see suicide attempts in 72 hours and preferential appointments before two weeks. There is more delay in cases that are not urgent or preferential, that are going to 4 or 5 months, “says a professional from the USMI. A year ago these delays were around six months.

A Unicef ​​study (carried out by the UMH) on the emotional effect of quarantine on minors in Spain and Italy showed that 85.7% of parents had noticed changes in the emotional state and behaviour of children. To this is added that the ANAR Foundation calculates that suicide ideas and attempts, called by experts “autolytic gesture”, had gone from an average of 1.9% to 8% in the last year. And the entity’s “chat” registered almost twice as many queries in 2020 as the previous year. Before the pandemic, 2.4% of care was related to suicidal ideation or attempts; during the strictest confinement it rose by more than 8%.

The biggest problems are being detected in young people from 13 years old with a peak of cases between 16 and 17 years old. Specialists are particularly struck by the youth of the patients who come to their office and the severity of the symptoms they present. Among girls, anxiety and depression disorders stand out, as well as those related to eating, and behavioural and consumption problems are more common in them. Among children and adolescents who had already been diagnosed with a problem, the pandemic is also causing a worsening of their situation.

Alicante has the highest rate of patients with prostate cancer in the Valencian Community

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men in the Valencian Community, followed by lung cancer and urinary bladder cancer, according to data from 2020, the year in which 1,890 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed out of a total of 11,464 new cases of cancer in men, which represents 16% of all tumours.

This data has been provided by the Epidemiological Studies and Health Statistics Service under the General Directorate of Public Health, of the Ministry of Universal Health and Public Health, on the occasion of the celebration of World Prostate Cancer Day, on June 11 , based on information from the Cancer Information System and the Mortality Registry of the Valencian Community.

The mean age at diagnosis is 69 years and the incidence increases with age, especially after 65 years.

In the Valencian Community, an incidence of 82.51 new cases per 100,000 men has been estimated. By provinces, the incidence rate in Alicante stands at 84.4 per 100,000, in Castellón it is 74.7 and in Valencia it is 82.9.

Prostate cancer was responsible for 705 deaths out of a total of 7,231 cancer deaths in men, accounting for 10% of all cancer deaths, behind lung (27%) and colorectal (13%) cancers. .

Regarding survival, it is 89%, a percentage that increases if we take into account that the extension of this type of cancer, up to 98% in local tumours, worsens in regional extension, up to 64%, and even more in the metastatic, up to 20%.

The hospitals in the public network of the Conselleria de Sanidad Universal y Salud Pública have the most advanced techniques for diagnosing and treating prostate cancer in their urology departments.

Thus, for example, the Urology service of the Hospital Clínico Universitario de València performs early diagnosis with fusion biopsy, which consists of a system that synchronises the images obtained in a prior magnetic resonance imaging with those of the ultrasound machine with which it is performed. the biopsy. This allows directing the biopsy to the areas that the nuclear resonance had detected as suspicious.

For its part, the Urology Service of the La Fe hospital each year performs around 500 prostate biopsies in patients with suspected prostate cancer and in the last year has also incorporated image fusion biopsy, which has allowed it to increase the diagnostic performance.

This service treats cancers at all stages of the disease, although 80% are cancers confined to the prostate without dissemination and potentially curable. Within this group, 40% of patients enter active follow-up programs with which they gain years of quality of life. Currently, they monitor more than 1,500 patients treated for prostate cancer.

The field of nanomedicine has developed promising approaches for the diagnosis and monitoring of this disease. Nanopharmaceuticals have the potential to significantly improve cancer treatment by decreasing drug toxicity and overcoming drug resistance, among other advantages.

In the CIPF’s Therapeutic Polymers laboratory they work with a class of nanomedicines called therapeutic polymers, that is, polymers conjugated to drugs. These drugs are conjugated to release the drug in a more controlled manner in areas where the tumour environment exists, thus avoiding release in healthy tissues.

This CIPF group, led by the Valencian researcher Maria Jesús Vicent, evaluates combined therapies based on polymerase inhibitors (PARP) to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer through the synthesis and evaluation of new drugs conjugated to polymers in advanced two-dimensional, three-dimensional models and in vivo metastatic prostate cancer. They have developed three-dimensional in vitro models that mimic the relationship of tumour cells with the tumour microenvironment of the disease.

With 3D models, they study the therapeutic activity of nanomedicines developed in more advanced preclinical models, allowing a better translation to clinical practice. In this sense, for María Jesús Vicent, “nanomedicine has developed promising approaches for the treatment, diagnosis and monitoring of diseases, since it has the potential to significantly improve cancer treatment by reducing the toxicity of drugs and overcoming their resistance, among other advantages.

Orihuela presents the security device for the summer on the coast with more than 50 troops

Great display on the esplanade of Playa Flamenca to present the security device for the summer on the 11 beaches of Orihuela Costa, which is the same as every year, with the difference that the highly demanded one is now open 24 hours a day emergency centre to provide better response times, although at the moment it only provides Local Police and Immigration services (NIE processing) and is awaiting the incorporation of the Civil Guard.

It should be remembered that the facilities – 4,700 square metres – were designed to accommodate Firefighters, Civil Protection and forestry brigades, and could even coordinate actions in the southern area of ​​Alicante. In addition, the project was announced to host a SAMU base in the summer.

In fact, the mayor Carolina Gracia, has assured during the presentation of the device, that the current services are going to be expanded.

The centre allows that “in addition to the good coordination between the Local Police, the maritime patrol, first aid and rescue, this year they are in better conditions”, pointed out the Councillor for Citizen Security, Antonio Sánchez, who stressed that the entire device will add more than 50 troops, emphasising the reinforcement of the Local Police staff.

Thus, the mayor has highlighted the drone unit, which for a few weeks has been monitoring the discharge of pruning and equipment on public roads that do not respect the ordinances, as well as the maritime patrol, which begins Monday with four agents and two aquatic bikes. Their work, according to the balance they carry out at the end of the season, focuses mainly on ensuring that the boats do not enter the bathing area or that bathers in turn exceed the marked limits.

In addition to reinforcing the presence of the Local Police, there are agents on bicycles to provide a local service to citizens on beaches and promenades, from Punta Prima to Mil Palmeras.

Added to all this is the rescue and lifeguard service provided by the company Ambumar, which has also been at the presentation. Since last day 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 22 lifeguards, four adapted bath attendants, a rescue skipper, a coordinator and two health emergency technicians have been ensuring safety on the beaches, a device that will be implemented from July 1st. In addition, they have a Basic Life Support ambulance, a jet ski with a rescue stretcher, a semi-rigid rescue boat and a rapid intervention vehicle.

This device allows a good security and rescue service to be provided, as Gracia has underlined in this act, which Civil Protection has also attended; the deputy mayor José Aix; the Councillor for Infrastructure, Ángel Noguera, and the Chief Mayor of the Local Police, José María Pomares. Because “our coast is a fundamental part of Orihuela, and we have to continue improving the services that the administration offers to residents and tourism”, he emphasised.

Next, the councilor has promised “a safe and clean stay”, mentioning the shock plan for Street Cleaning and RSU, in reference to the fact that the City Council announced last day 2 that 48 workers will be incorporated into the workforce from the 15th of June until August 31st and that there will be new places from May to October through an extraordinary job offer.

Regarding the selective processes that the Department of Human Resources has launched, Sánchez has indicated that “they will allow the coast to have police reinforcement throughout the year.”

Two nods to the residents of a coastline with a stable population of 30,000 people that triples in summer. Not in vain, cleaning and security are two highly demanded services on the coast. For example, one of the 88 measures that the Cabo Roig and Lomas Neighbourhood Association has proposed to the City Council to “combat the serious situation in which Orihuela Costa finds itself”, which they usually describe as abandoned, is to reinforce – in the short and medium term – The staff of the Local Police and the troops dedicated to monitoring compliance with municipal ordinances to eradicate illegal dumping on public roads, another historical problem.

Precisely, several complaints from residents on the coast have warned in recent days of containers full of garbage without collecting.

The Ministry of Tourism asks Social Rights to modernise the Imserso program and raise prices

Imserso is “guaranteed and pensioners are going to enjoy this important program that allows many of them to travel.” The Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, indicated that this travel program for the elderly will continue to function after the extension approved by the Ministry of Social Rights, but she did affirm that some issues would have to be changed, among them, the price at which this program is paid to hoteliers and advocated modernization in order to meet the expectations of all parties.

The head of Tourism attended this Friday the closing of the V Digital Tourist of Ametic that is being held these days in Benidorm. Maroto explained about the Imserso that it needs modernization “to reach a design that prioritises quality, excellence for pensioners and a fair price for the sector.” To do this, from her department, the Ministry of Social Affairs, which is the one with powers over this program, has been asked to “open a space for negotiation” with the entire “chain that is involved”; that is, both the tourism sector and the associations of the elderly so that they can put their concerns on the table.

The travel program for the elderly is “successful in that it has a social vocation” and “clearly we always have to take it into account,” said Maroto, who recalled that precisely for this reason it is in the hands of that other ministry that Ione Belarra directs. The vocation of this program is social, it is to “facilitate the trips of our elders” but the person in charge of Tourism has something clear: “the world changes, the trips change and we also have to improve the experiences of our pensioners”.

She thus indicated that from Tourism “what we want to be is an ally with the Ministry and with those involved to modernise that program.” Something that, among other issues, involves “establishing a fair price if necessary so that the entire value chain can develop the program and a better experience for increasingly demanding pensioners”.

It should be remembered that it was the department of Belarra that made the decision to extend the current Imserso program and freeze the prices received by hoteliers, which threatens the disappearance of the program because they do not adjust to the reality of the costs of the service . In fact, hoteliers and social tourism companies have already warned that it cannot continue like this. Specifically, Hosbec argued that it is practically impossible to continue in the program when the place costs 33 euros/day, and the hotel only receives 22 euros for accommodation and full board.

Maroto referred to this decision made by Minister Belarra to extend this vacation program for the elderly and defended that “this will guarantee that this year the program will be carried out on a schedule that had to be changed due to the pandemic.” Therefore, pensioners “know that the letter will arrive and in September they will be able to go to their travel agencies to contract; that is the certainty that the extension implies.”

But the person in charge of Tourism demands something else: “that we open that space for debate to modernise the program and in the coming years we can have an Imserso adapted to tourism for which we are betting on higher quality, that pensioners also see it in their program and that the demands of the value chain that operates this program and of all hoteliers are also addressed”.

Maroto herself stated in Benidorm that the current price, “in the conditions it is in right now, seems low to me, I think it needs to be updated.” Because there is “a change in the tourist profile and we also have to attend to a price update”. That is why it calls for a fair price and the best way is to open that “debate with operators to define where to modernise a program that is successful and that its continuity must be guaranteed”, but always “thinking of benefiting those who use it but taking into account the demands of the sector”. A debate that “we have been substantiating for a long time and that is necessary since whenever things about dialogue and debate are addressed, there are agreements”.

Upon her arrival in Benidorm, the Minister of Tourism greeted and spoke with some of those attending the tourist days held in the city. In addition to the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez, Maroto met at the door of the City Hall with the president of Hosbec, Toni Mayor, and the general secretary of the entity, Nuria Montes. Both attended the meeting with the representative of the Government with the intention of raising some questions, including that problem that is on the Imserso table. In a relaxed tone, the head of this department indicated that there were other issues to discuss: “you can talk about other things.” Maroto raised before the representatives of the hoteliers the recovery that the sector is experiencing despite the two years of pandemic.

For her part, and in the face of this problem, there have been other reactions such as that of the spokesperson for the executive of the local PSOE in Alicante, Trini Amorós, who has indicated that a solution must be “searched so that a fundamental program for our elders is not lost “. The Imserso is “above all a social program for the elderly that gives them hope and goals as well as allowing them to discover wonderful places in the Spanish geography”. For this reason, the PSOE considers it “essential” that the Ministry of Social Rights increase the economic allocation for the Imserso program.

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