SON Llatzer will open a new unit of 33 beds on Monday (January 14) to cope with demand owing to the increase in respiratory diseases related to the winter weather.
The head of the Balearic Health Service (IB-Salut), Josep Pomar, announced the increase in the number of hospital beds after the hospital board complained about the chaotic situation in the emergency department, which included beds in the corridors. Pomar added that it was necessary to call in extra staff.
The unions Cemsatse, UGT, USO, USAE and CCOO have complained about the lack of planning on the part of the hospital's management, which allows this chaotic situation to continue due to the lack of beds to treat patients, while hospital wards continue to remain closed.
Pomar said that the pressure on the emergency services of this hospital, and all the other hospitals in the Balearic public network, is normal at this time of the year.
Although the number of emergencies dealt with by the public hospitals had not peaked yet, Pomar recognised that there was greater pressure at the moment due to illnesses related to the cold of winter. However he said that the amount of flu cases were still not high.
Pomar added that patients awaiting admission to Son Llatzer would be admitted to either Son Llatzer or other hospitals.
In December, 43 new beds were created in Son Llatzer to increase the hospital's bed capacity during the winter months and the amount of nurses for individual rooms was doubled.
But as these 43 beds are already occupied, the new hospital unit will be opened this week, with extra staff being brought in as required.
IB-Salut, said Pomar, have signed an agreement with private clinics in Palma to supply nurses to the public hospitals when they are under pressure due to the amount of patients admitted. This is likely to happen during the next few weeks due to the increased number of flu cases.
With regard to the incidence of flu this winter, Pomar commented that, at the moment, it is not high but it will increase in 10 or 15 days.