Palma de Majorca.—Whilst the primary health care services dealt with 3'424 cases across the region, confirmed Ib-Salut yesterday, 980 urgent calls were handled by hospitals.

Separately, the figures from the Balearic Health Service for urgent attention provided to the public last Monday, 26th December - also a public holiday in the region - have not yet emerged.

An Ib-salut spokesman said further analysis will be made of the high demand being made on medical emergency services on Christmas day. He pointed out that patients would have had to have felt that the need for medical help was indeed urgent at a time when most people were celebrating and dining with family and friends.

Out of hours duty pharmacies were also doing a roaring trade over the Christmas holiday. Queues were stretching out of the entrances staff reported.
Some time ago, many pharmacies extended their opening hours even beyond the out of hours shifts recommended by the Official College of Pharmacists.
In many places in the Balearics, principally in Palma, there is now cover up until 10pm and in some situations, even 24 hours a day.
Health sources pointed out that cardiovascular problems rise by more than 20 percent in winter due to low temperatures and the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC) said that the incidence of heart attacks are up by 10 percent at this time of year. Older people, the FEC said, are more vulnerable to the effects of colder weather as are those who suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to an article in the British Medical Journal, a drop of one degree Centigrade increases the risk of heart attack by 2 percent.