Local Daily News 20th May

The Ministry of Health ensures that six health centres in the Torrevieja area will have doctors only for emergencies 24 hours a day this summer

The emergency services of six health centres in the department of Torrevieja will remain open 24 hours a day this summer. It is something that will happen “for the first time in 15 years,” says the Ministry of Health and a measure adopted in the summer reinforcement care coverage plan presented by the management of the health area to the union representatives of the company committee and the staff board. In addition to this decision, the health area will keep the “second floor of the Hospital open at full capacity”, something that was usually reserved in the summer for times of special healthcare pressure.

The health centres with Emergencies in the department are La Loma de Torrevieja, Rojales, Guardamar del Segura, Orihuela Costa, Pilar de la Horadada and San Miguel de Salinas. Health does not say that these centres closed emergencies in the summer with the previous concessionaire. What it clarifies is that during regular hours, GPs in summer also attended emergencies and now there will be doctors throughout the day for those cases.

In the same planning, the management has reiterated that from June 1st the Hospital’s Emergency Service will have a new medical leadership, now held by other doctors after the resignation of the previous person in charge. In addition, the staff of doctors will be reinforced “with the purpose of increasing the quality of care and improving response times” although the Ministry does not quantify that support with numbers.

With this plan, it is intended that it should combine the vacations of the health workers with the moment of greatest care pressure in departments, so that up to 60% of outpatient consultations can be attended. And it was presented yesterday to the unions at a meeting that the management explains “in line with the open-door policy of the centre’s management” in which a meeting with the ten mayors of the department’s municipalities is scheduled for Monday ” in order to present the vacation plan and resolve any uncertainty in this regard. The mayors of Pilar de la Horadada and Torrevieja had requested that, although it was to be joint between management, mayors and unions. The management has guaranteed the unions 100% care coverage for the population in key services such as emergencies, primary care and hospitalisation, even reaching 60% coverage in Outpatient Consultations. The centre’s second floor will remain open at full capacity, something that was not usual in previous years. The number of professionals will also increase in Primary Care. The care strategy for this summer is focused on promoting urgent care throughout the department with the 24-hour opening of the six Continuous Care Points (PAC) -the department’s health centres that have an Emergency service-. It is a network of health centres that adds an average of 500 emergencies per day in July and August attended to together.

The management has guaranteed the unions 100% care coverage for the population in key services such as emergencies, primary care and hospitalisation, even reaching 60% coverage in Outpatient Consultations. The centre’s second floor will remain open at full capacity, something that was not usual in previous years. The number of professionals will also increase in Primary Care. The care strategy for this summer is focused on promoting urgent care throughout the department with the 24-hour opening of the six Continuous Care Points (PAC) -the department’s health centres that have an Emergency service-. It is a network of health centres that adds an average of 500 emergencies per day in July and August attended to together.

The integration of Primary and Specialised Care allows the PACs to be connected with the hospital, “so that users can solve their health problems closer to home, without waiting,” according to management. The integration of both care levels “is also going to improve with the direct appointment from the Emergency Department of those patients who require consultation with their family doctor without the need for the patient to contact by telephone or go to their Health Centre. Thus, these PACs will extend their schedule by six more hours every day -24 hours-, “an event that has not happened for 15 years.”

The management has once again insisted that it has incorporated 38 more nurses, going from 21 to 58 professionals, 8 more auxiliary Nursing Care technicians, going from 15 to 23 professionals, and 4 additional guards, going from 17 to 21 professionals. However, the Ministry does not report the reinforcement or increase in doctors that 24 of the 36 professionals have that they need to comply with an optimal service.

The statistics handled by the Generalitat indicate that this year the Hospital’s Emergency Service could exceed 10,000 visits in the month of August. In 2019, the year before the pandemic, the total figure already touched that barrier. Forecasts on residential tourist demand indicate that it could be the summer with the highest occupancy in the last decade depending, for example, on the occupancy of tourist apartments on festive dates this year, as was the case of Easter and the weekends prior to June.

Monkeypox: Health puts doctors in the province of Alicante on alert

The Ministry of Health has sent to the ten health departments of the province of Alicante, the Public Health Centres and the AIDS Information and Prevention Centres a Public Health alert with indications of what Monkeypox is, what are its causes and how to detect it. At the moment no cases have been detected in the province or in the rest of the Valencian Community.

This alert includes instructions so that, in the event that cases that meet the definition criteria are identified, the Preventive Medicine services are urgently contacted to initiate the corresponding epidemiological investigation.

In addition, this Thursday a meeting of the Alerts Report of the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) has been convened, in which the Ministry of Health and the different autonomous communities participate, to coordinate a joint action protocol that will also will be distributed from the Conselleria.

In Spain there are almost thirty cases of monkeypox under study, although only 7 have been confirmed so far, according to the Ministry of Health. So far all cases have been detected in the Community of Madrid.

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to that of the now eradicated smallpox, although somewhat milder – fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain, chills and exhaustion – and there is often swollen glands and a skin rash, that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body, mainly hands and feet.

This was stated this Wednesday on its official twitter by the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (SEIMC). Due to the characteristics of the suspected cases of infection, the contagion could have occurred with mucous membranes during sexual intercourse, as reported in a statement by the Madrid Ministry of Health.

Monkeypox is a very rare disease, which generally presents with fever, myalgia, lymphadenopathy (swollen glands) and a rash on the hands and face, similar to chickenpox. The people under study evolve positively and are isolated in their homes, although close surveillance must be maintained, since they may require hospital admission.

Monkeypox is an endemic disease on the African continent, where several mammals can transmit it to humans. Causes skin rashes. According to the WHO, it causes a lethality of 1% to 10%, especially among children. This disease, caused by a smallpox virus transmitted from animals to humans, is spread by contact with an infected person or their bodily fluids, including saliva. However, according to the British health security agency (UKHSA), the virus does not spread “easily” between people, so the risk to the population is “low”.

A man dies drowned in the Playa del Cura de Torrevieja

A 76-year-old man has drowned in the Playa del Cura de Torrevieja this Wednesday. At 11:15 am, the CICU was alerted that an unconscious man had been pulled from the sea.

Witnesses at the scene have started cardiac massage on the man. Upon arrival, the SAMU medical team has continued with the resuscitation maneuvers, but there has been no response, the man had already died. The autopsy will reveal and confirm the causes of this man’s drowning.

Lethal blow to the irrigation of Vinalopó and L'Alacantí: the Júcar will cut groundwater extraction by 90% without specifying a water transfer

New pulse with the irrigators, now with those from the regions of Vinalopó and L’Alacantí. In the absence of the 18 hm3 agreed in the “historic” agreement with the Central Board of Users of the Júcar-Vinalopó beginning to arrive from the mouth of the Júcar until December 31, the farmers of the central regions (40,000 hectares, between them those dedicated to table grapes) face a new threat. The Júcar Hydrographic Confederation has called a meeting next week, specifically on Wednesday 25, of its general meeting to approve the new roadmap for water distribution from this year and until the horizon of 2027.

Planning that involves the prohibition of extracting 86 hm3 of the current 95 hm3 of groundwater for irrigation from the six aquifers from which irrigators and municipalities are supplied, which will be the only ones that will continue to have access, for the time being, to the 41.3 hm3 to which they are entitled. Water, that of the farmers, which will have to be replaced by that of the transfer. The proposal is to reduce by 90% the right and the concessions of the irrigators, who will have only 9.2 hm3 per year for the current 95.2 hm3. The problem is that the Júcar Confederation intends to take the step already this year, without having set the amount that it will provide to farmers and, according to sources from the Central Board, it would be around 30 hm3 per year. Insufficient flow to cover needs. “Linking the reduction of extractions with the contributions of Júcar-Vinalopó was not understood by anyone. The problem is very serious,” warns Ángel Urbina, spokesman for the Central Board of Júcar-Vinalopó. In the Consell there is also concern. “What is clear is that if the objective of the transfer is to remove pressure from the aquifers, we must seek and provide an alternative for the irrigators,” emphasises Roger Llanes, regional secretary for Agriculture.

The impact on urban supply is less, 40% less between the implementation of the plan and 2027 or, what is the same, going from the 41.3 hm3 of water that is currently extracted to 24.7 hm3 . Basically, this decrease will be concentrated in the municipalities of l`Alacantí, which must be supplied with desalinated water or, in the case of Alicante, that which also arrives from the Tajo.

A situation that affects the so-called “groundwater masses” of the Villena-Beneixama, Sierra Castellar, Sierra Salinas aquifers -these two are completely closed to the countryside-, Peñarrubia, Sierra de Crevillente and Reclot. The Central Board is currently trying to minimise the impact that next Wednesday’s decision may have. The irrigators speak of total ruin if the step forward is taken and an avalanche of property claims because, in addition, many irrigation communities are still not connected to the Júcar post-transfer infrastructure.

On the other hand, the Consell and the agrarian organisations are frontally opposed to the covert transfer, according to La Unió, which is intended to be carried out from the Acequia Real del Júcar to Almería, through a transfer of water rights, because the needs of the irrigators of the Valencian Community are not yet covered and there are areas with an evident water deficit.

In principle, for at least five years it is intended to take 10 cubic hectares of water a year from the Júcar to the Almanzora river, where the problem of drought is also pressing. The water would be sold between 0.27/0.30 euros/cubic metre and the aim is to achieve 15 million euros (3 million euros per year) with the excuse of carrying out the modernization of irrigation. The agrarian organisation denounces that “the water will therefore not serve to irrigate our lands, nor to regenerate the Albufera, nor to increase the flow of the Júcar, since it would be transferred from Alarcón 300 kilometres from the mouth of the river in Cullera.”

«It cannot be that we have demonstrated in Alicante for the cuts of the Tagus that will reduce the transfer to the Alicante regions, that the irrigators of the Vinalopó continue to have difficulties in irrigating, that we are opposed to the depletion of the Júcar aquifers in the Eastern Mancha , and meanwhile some dedicate themselves to selling water to other autonomous communities in a manoeuvre that in the end is about profiting from this public good, which belongs to all irrigators”, criticises the leader Carles Peris.

La Unió proposes that a comprehensive solution be reached in water resources, integrating structuring and constructive proposals for all, avoiding conflicts between territories. Coordination between the different Hydrological Confederations, the authorization of state and even European hydrological plans, among other measures, are essential steps to resolve conflicts. That is why “we demand a vision of the State from all our rulers, because solutions must be socialised, not problems,” says the Secretary General.

“The current reality tells us that other viable alternatives to transfers with an affordable price so that farmers can maintain our farms do not exist and therefore it is not the time to assume water cuts now, just when production costs are exorbitant”, Peris points out.

The three partners of the government of the Botànic are, for their part, against the sale of water from the Júcar to Almería, a transfer of 50 cubic hectometres that the Acequia Real del Júcar (ARJ) intends to carry out over the next 5 years to obtain financing and, also, in response to a request from the Ministry for Ecological Transition due to the very serious drought in the Guadalquivir basin. The resounding refusal of Compromís and Unides Podem is also joined by the PSPV, which considers that there are other better options, according to information from J. M. Bort.

Since Ximo Puig’s party, the transfer proposed by the ARJ is not the “most reasonable option, maximum when we know that other possible alternatives are being studied to meet the needs of Almería.” “We understand the point of view of the Acequia Real and the problems of Almería, but we believe that there are better alternatives, especially taking into account the hydrological difficulties of our land”, they point out.

The deputy of Compromís Graciela Ferrer, spokesperson for the Environment and Water of Compromís in the Courts, considers that “it is inconceivable that, in an overexploited basin such as that of the Júcar, the management of the Acequia Real del Júcar intends to collect water from the Alarcón reservoir to sell it and, therefore, transfer it to Almería”. The deputy spokesman for the coalition, Juan Ponce, points out: “We cannot allow the water of the Júcar, the future of our agriculture and the survival of the river and the Albufera to be a bargaining chip so that the two large state parties have an easier time campaigning. election in Andalusia. You have to recover the Júcar, not sell it”. Roger Llanes, regional secretary for Agriculture, points out, for his part, that “if Almería has to be helped because its situation is worrying, it must be done, but not at the expense of the farmers of the Valencian Community. I know that the Government is looking for a solution”.

The blockade of sales to Eastern countries due to the war caused losses of 40 million to Alicante citrus

The agricultural sector of the province in general, and the citrus sector in particular, promised them happiness, when in the midst of the pandemic it managed to increase exports more than notably. However, just two years later, all that has been turned into a mere mirage. And it is that the producers are experiencing a disastrous campaign as a result of a conglomerate of factors among which the war in Ukraine occupies a decisive place. The outbreak of the war has paralyzed exports to Eastern countries, and this, in turn, has led to its main suppliers, such as Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Morocco, having diverted their goods to the rest of the European market. The consequence? 70% of the oranges and 20% of the Alicante mandarins from the second part of the season have been left unharvested due to the impossibility of marketing them, causing economic losses close to 40 million euros.

The president of Asaja Alicante and citrus producer, José Vicente Andreu, recalls that the campaign has already started badly due to the massive presence in the markets of fruit from South Africa, with which hope was placed on the later varieties, precisely those that they had to be commercialising right now. However, everything has gone to waste as a result of the war. “We -he emphasises- cannot export to Russia because of the embargo applied by the European Union, but neither can those who were their usual suppliers, because the entry routes to the Soviet country itself, Belarus and Slovenia are impracticable because of the war itself. Maritime traffic through the Black Sea, without going any further, is extremely difficult”. So, in order to sell their citrus fruits, Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Morocco have chosen to divert their sales to the rest of Europe, with lower prices, causing a real saturation in which consumption is unable to absorb a disproportionate offer.

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