Local Daily News 8th May

The province's emergency departments need to incorporate 25 more doctors to adequately care for the population

Hospital emergencies are the services that bear the greatest burden of care, especially in the winter months, with the worsening of respiratory diseases and the arrival of viruses, and in summer, when the population multiplies, especially in coastal areas.

The emergency services have historically been underfunded, a problem that has not been resolved with the structural increase in staff that the Ministry of Health has undertaken, according to the Society of Emergency and Emergency Medicine, Semes. In the province of Alicante there are 78 new positions that have been created, but even so there are still 25 emergency doctors missing to cover all the needs of the population, as explained by the health entity. At the moment, the hospitals in Elche, Elda and La Vila are the ones with the greatest shortage of professionals in this service.

It is a deficit that for patients translates into waiting for hours to be attended to at times of care pressure and to be able to enter the ward. For doctors, the result of this lack is greater precariousness, since they are given contracts for shifts and hours in order to cover the needs of these services.

In the whole of the Valencian Community there are 211 new contracts that have been made with the structural increase in the workforce, “when the historical deficit was quantified at 340, so not all needs have been covered,” says Semes. In addition, with the end of covid contracts, thirty professionals have been lost throughout the Valencian Community. In the province of Alicante, with the new reinforcements, there are about 200 doctors who work in the Emergency Department of the ten public hospitals.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Health has asked the paediatricians of the different hospitals in the province to stand guard at the Marina Baixa Hospital to alleviate the loss of five professionals that has left the health centre in a draw and has forced the cancellation of hundreds of queries. At the moment the management of the centre rules out the transfer of consultations to other health centres and indicates that urgent cases “are all being seen”. The day this Friday has been arduous in negotiations to determine which hospitals the paediatricians are going to travel to attend the guards. The problem is that the lack of personnel is generalised in all services in the province and therefore it is not easy to find paediatricians to travel.

After the discharge of the paediatricians, the service currently only has four other specialists, who are being forced to do marathon shifts, with two weekly 24-hour shifts, plus ordinary 12-hour shifts to be able to care for children admitted to the ward, the newborns from the gynaecology ward, those from neonates plus any minor who may arrive through the emergency room door, which closes any possibility of being able to attend the scheduled consultations of specialties, the so-called healthy child consultations, nor assess all inter-consultations that are referred from Primary Care as first visits.

The Medical Union regrets that the problem of Paediatrics in La Vila is not new and it has been coming for months. “Paediatricians have been used to covering the shortage of Emergency Service personnel for a year and a half, thus adding their own shifts with Emergency Room night shifts, reaching up to nine guard and night shifts per month,” says the General Secretary of the Medical Union in the Valencian Community, Víctor Pedrera.

For his part, the spokesman for Health of the Popular Group in the Cortes, José Juan Zaplana, denounced this Friday the “limit situation” of the Marina Baixa regional hospital. He recalled that before the pandemic “the service worked reasonably well” and had 10 paediatricians. “Everyone understood that the pandemic was a sudden situation and it was necessary to make adjustments, but two years later the service is worse than before. Today, there are only four paediatricians, who cannot cope with an average of 200 children a month”, he pointed out.

José Juan Zaplana has criticised that “once again, Minister Barceló leaves the professionals to their fate” and has stated that the situation “is unfair both for the health workers, who are exhausted, and for the patients. And we must take into account […] that in this case it is about caring for minors, so a plus of involvement and sensitivity is required”.

The 140 musical groups in the province will receive aid from the Provincial Council

More music in the province. The Diputación de Alicante has approved the granting of aid amounting to 409,000 euros included in the “XXVII Campanya Música als Pobles”, which will go to 140 musical groups from municipalities in all the Alicante counties in order to encourage the organisation of concerts, both in their own localities and in others.

The First Vice President and Deputy for Culture, Julia Parra, has confirmed that “this year a great effort has been made to increase these grants with an additional 120,000 euros, to exceed 400,000 euros”. As she has explained, “this allocation is a way to recognize and thank all musical groups for their important contribution to the cultural revitalization of our municipalities and their work in training young musicians.” The head of Culture has also expressed her desire that “Alicante people can enjoy a wide musical program that will reach all corners of the province.”

Most of the grants range between 1,500 and 2,500 euros per group and have been granted to musical societies in the region of L’Alacantí, specifically to the municipalities of Agost, Aigües, Alicante, Villafranqueza, Busot, El Campello, Mutxamel, Sant Joan d’Alacant, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, La Torre de les Maçanes and Xixona. In the region of L’Alcoià, groups from Alcoi, Banyeres de Mariola, Castalla, Ibi, Onil, Penàguila and Tibi have also been awarded some of these grants.

On the other hand, in the region of El Comtat musical societies from Agres, Alcoleja, Alfafara, Beniarrés, Benilloba, Cocentaina, Gaianes, Gorga, L’Orxa, Muro d’Alcoy and Planes will also receive this aid. In the same way as the music bands of Beneixama, Biar, Camp de Mirra, Cañada, Sax and Villena, in the Alto Vinalopó region.

In Baix Vinalopó, groups from Crevillente, Elche and Santa Pola have also been included in this musical support campaign, along with the towns of Algueña, Aspe, Elda, Hondón de las Nieves, Hondón de los Frailes, Monforte del Cid, Monóvar , Novelda, Petrer, Pinoso and La Romana del Medio Vinalopó.

Likewise, the Culture area of ​​the provincial institution has designated grants for the music bands of the municipalities of Beniarbeig, Benimeli, Benissa, Benitachell, Calp, Castell de Castells, Dénia, El Verger, Els Poblets, Gata de Gorgos, La Vall d’Ebo, Ondara, Parcent, Pedreguer, Pego, Teulada, Xàbia, Xaló and the smaller local entity Jesús Pobre, in the Marina Alta region.

Likewise, in the Marina Baixa, other musical societies from Altea, Benidorm, Callosa d’en Sarrià, Confrides, Finestrat, La Nucia, L’Alfàs del Pi, Orxeta, Polop, Relleu, Sella, Tárbena and Villajoyosa have also received some of these grants.

Finally, the institution has granted aid to music bands from 24 towns in the Vega Baja with headquarters in Albatera, Algorfa, Almoradí, Benejúzar, Benferri, Bigastro, Callosa de Segura, Catral, Cox, Daya Nueva, Dolores, Granja de Rocamora , Guardamar del Segura, Jacarilla, Los Montesinos, Orihuela -La Matanza, La Murada and San Bartolomé-, Pilar de la Horadada, Rafal, Rojales, San Fulgencio, San Isidro, San Miguel de Salinas and Torrevieja-.

The judge sends the detainee for the Elche crime to prison and her son to a juvenile centre, in a closed regime

The woman arrested for the Elche crime will be sent to prison. This was decided on Saturday afternoon by the titular judge of the Court of Instruction number 2 of Alicante, acting as a guard, who has decreed provisional detention, communicated and without bail for the one arrested for the death of an octogenarian woman in Elche.

The arrested woman is being investigated for the crime of murder, in addition to false accusation and damages. The magistrate has recused herself from the proceedings in favour of the Investigating Court 3 of Elche, a body that already had a case open for these events.

Her son, a 16-year-old who was accused of helping the detainee to cover tracks, will be admitted to a juvenile centre as a precautionary measure. This has been decreed by the duty holder of the Court of Alicante at the request of the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office. The internment of the minor will be in a closed regime.

The 46-year-old woman had been arrested for killing an octogenarian woman in Elche with three shots last Wednesday and she told the Police an alibi that the agents did not believe. In fact, the Police considered that her statements incriminated her even more.

The deceased is a British woman and the Police continue to investigate the relationship she had with the perpetrator of the crime.

One in four households in the province is made up of a person on their own

Living alone was not a very frequent thing a few years ago, when building a life without company in a house was given by an unexpected situation. But in recent years, more and more people decide to live alone and enjoy a refuge that allows them to escape from the stress of everyday life. In the province, one in four households is made up of a single person; and among them, the majority by those under 65 years of age and single men.

There are 755,900 homes in Alicante, according to the latest 2020 data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). Of these, 197,700 are single-person; that is, households in which only one person lives, 26% of the total. A figure that increased compared to 2019 in which there were 192,600; and to 2018, with 190,100. Of these, 112,200 are people under 65 years of age. According to the same sources, men and women account for almost 50% of these types of houses, with the second group being somewhat more numerous (98,400 in the first case and 99,300 in the second). And among all of them, single men are the most numerous along with widowed women not far behind.

And where do single people usually live the most? Well, of the total single-person homes, 57,900 are in cities with between 100,000 and 500,000 inhabitants in the province; 48,300 in those with 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants and 45,600 in the intermediate step. Thus, the towns of less than 2,000 residents bring together 7,400 houses with only one inhabitant.

The tendency to live alone has increased among young people in recent years. Although the labour and economic reality of many of them sometimes prevents them from being able to carry out this matter. In fact, being one to face the expenses of a home depends on the conditions of each person. This is how Alba Navalón, PhD in Sociology and professor at the University of Alicante, explains it.

The profile could be that of “middle-aged people, who have economic stability who start a life on their own”, either by their own decision or because they have not found a stable partner with whom to share that space. Living alone or not is sometimes a matter of economy because “if you’re not accompanied, there are people in their 40 years who share a flat”.

But the expert assures that it is a decision that most of the time “is personal”. “Society is changing and people have become more selfish. It is more difficult for us to do without certain things to live as a couple,” she adds. That trend was “going further” although the pandemic came to change many things: “Being locked up and alone, even if we talked to people or new technologies, many have realised that they did not want to be alone,” she explained. “It has slowed down but it has remained on ‘stand by’; we will have to see what happens in the next few years,” Navalón said.

Society is changing and it is more and more common to see people who live alone, but who also carry out all kinds of activities without company. The “single” phenomenon has been on the table for years and is already a market that finds products designed for them; a new type of consumers who, furthermore, are not only young, but also older people who have been divorced or widowed.

However, does an independent man who lives alone have the same consideration as a woman? Well, although everything is progressing, the sociologist explains that there are still times when it has negative connotations: “A man can be considered a ‘golden bachelor’ while a woman is called an ‘old maid’; although it is gradually disappearing but it is still hard. And sometimes it is linked to phrases related to motherhood.

But, is it the same to live alone than in solitude? Many would answer no; not sharing a house with anyone else is a personal choice that can come at any time in life. This is the case of Mateo Enguix. At 37 years old, this resident of Cocentaina has lived in a house in the countryside in Millena for 3 years. And it was a personal decision. “Since he was little he had the dream of living in a country house but he had never had the chance,” he explained. When he finished his studies he had to “go back to my parents’ house” where he “was very different after the freedom he had before”.

So, when he got a stable job, he thought about renting a flat, although he finally bought the country house together with his brother, although only he lives there. For the young man, living alone has many advantages: “You do what you want, they have your rhythm of life and without giving explanations.” “I live very quietly, and when I feel more alone, I meet people,” he said. For Enguix, his home is “his refuge for when I need peace or quiet”. He thus explained that “you organise yourself, it gives you much more freedom.” And he also emphasises that “living in a country house has many advantages”, among them, not having disturbances or bothering the neighbours.

Thus, like other young people, he has become accustomed to this way of life: “Possibly, when you live alone for a long time, it may be harder later to live with someone,” he pointed out. Right now he is single and points out that “some time ago I cared much more than now about sharing everything with someone.”

But it is true that there is another loneliness, the unwanted one, the one that leaves older people without company by losing their lifelong companions. And they also live in single-person households with no one else. This is how Alfonso Soler, biochemist and doctor in Sociology, president of the Gerontological Association of the Mediterranean, explains it, who differentiates between desired loneliness, that of “those who live alone because they have chosen it” and unwanted, “the worst”; that is, those of older people who may carry more risks because “they go out less or have psychological barriers due to grief.” In the province, there are 85,500 single-person households of people over 65 years of age. 

All in all, he argued that society “has been modernised” and for a few years this group of older people who live alone have been “more taken into account” with activities for them such as being able to study at the Permanent University or going on organised excursions, etc.. And he recounted a phenomenon that is also spreading: “cohousing.” This term responds to “cohousing”, or what is the same, a model of coexistence in which its members share common spaces, but have private homes. “It is becoming fashionable” since it is a way of living alone but with company.

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