T HE regional ministry for Health and Consumer affairs has launched Summer Plan 2004, a programme which upgrades the primary health care services on the Islands through the high season until October this year.

According to a report issued yesterday by minister Aina Castillo, the project aims to reinforce specific points on the Islands in terms of basic health care services, traditionally provided during the summer months by hospitals, primary health care units, and the “061” emergency medical teams.

This increase in demand is rooted in the presence of tourists and seasonal workers in the hotel and catering industry. This influx considerably expands the population of the Balearics, especially in coastal areas.

In the districts registering the highest density of tourists, available primary health care is to be upgraded with the addition of 37 professionals, 21 of whom are doctors and the remainder, nursing staff.

The 061 emergency medical teams will step up their activity in Palma, Can Picafort, Manacor and Sant Antoni de Ibiza. The 061 service has also been enhanced with a helicopter service since the second of this month. The total cost of the primary health care reinforcements exceeds 475'000 euros.

In addition, hospitals make contingency arrangements during this period which seasonally brings in more people in need of attention due to over-exposure to the sun, insect bites, food poisoning and infections.