REGIONAL Health Minister, Vicens Thomas reported favourably yesterday on medical attention provided to the Balearic community over the course of 2008 but said that the list of people awaiting operations had gone up by 7.5 percent.

Thomas said that overall, studies showed that professionals in the health industry were performing well, although he recognised that there was “room for improvement” so far as the waiting lists were concerned. He confirmed that during 2008, 11'988 people needed operations, 838 more than in 2007, adding that increases are bound to occur when the population of the region was also on the rise. He claimed though that the maximum any individual would have to wait for an operation in the Balearics is 181 days.

Thomas pointed to the spectacular increase in the number of operations carried out at Inca Hospital. After 1'284 were performed in 2007, 4'530 were carried out in 2008. These statistics, he said, make a mockery of the complaints which the Opposition Partido Popular (PP) party are alleged to be making about this hospital. Last year also saw the opening of five new operating theatres bringing the total in the Balearics to 49. A total of 56'702 operations were performed - 46'174 were scheduled whilst 10'528 were emergencies - 3'938 (7.46 percent) more than in 2007.