Friday, January 25, 2008

Casares sigue todavía sin pediatra

This problem surfaced last August.

There are 400 children in Casares. For them there is only one pediatrician, who is shared with Manilva and Sabinillas (probably another 600 children).

In August last year Casares ayuntamiento phoned the Servico Andaluz de Salud (SAS) several times to complain about the lack of a pediatrician in Casares on the days he was supposed to be here. The answer was that there is no locum available for days taken as leave.

In December the pediatrician left his job and has not been replaced, leaving 1000 children with no care. The SAS maintain that cover is supplied by the normal doctor (GP). However, I can reveal that the doctor in Casares was sent a letter last year telling him he cannot treat children and that this instruction has not been cancelled.

On 9th January, the SAS admitted they were trying to address the problem. On the 10th, the health counsellor for the ayuntamiento, Pedro González wrote to the SAS oficially complaining about the lack of cover and the difficulty experienced in contacting anyone in the SAS who would either give an answer or undertaking to supply a pediatrician. On the 16th Don Pedro finally managed to speak to the SAS health director responsible by phone. The director confirmed he had replied to the letter by ordinary mail (takes about 10 days to arrive). On the 23rd the ayuntamiento called an extraordinary public meeting to discuss the problem with the residents.

I received a copy of the inviatation to this meeting the day before, the 22nd. Knowing how institutions hate publicity, I called Canal Sur television and asked if they would send a TV crew to cover the meeting. In the end, I was unable to attend due to work committments. I believe Canal Sur sent a radio reporter to cover the meeting.

Yesterday, the story started to be reported locally by the Spanish press. I am also grateful to the blogger who has also reported on this (because his town suffers the same problem).

I'm sure that the authorities are glad I'm unable to vote in either national or regional elections, because I'd be making a big stink about it. The big parties seem to be either too right wing and authoritarian (PP), or thoroughly corrupt (PSOE and probably all the rest as well). In fact I really hope that the PP doesn't get in, since they want to crack down on inconvienient truths publicised by the blogging community.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tío Brian

Christmas and New Year have been very strange times here.

My mother-in-law's partner, always referred to as Uncle Brian died on the 23rd December. As is the Spanish way the funeral was the day after, Christams Eve. This rather put a different mood on Christmas this year. Our neighbour and Susana's godmother, Isabel was very helpful in helping to organise the funeral. She's been a pillar of strength and support for us from the day we arrived in Casares.

What shocked me in putting together this post was how far back I had to go (August 2000) in order to find a picture of Uncle Brian when he was not ill. The gradual nature of his debilitation had fooled me into thinking he'd been ill for a lot less than seven years.