REGIONAL Health and Consumer Affairs Minister, Vicens Thomas, confirmed yesterday that between January and June this year, Balearic hospitals have treated over a million people (1'045'207) who are in possession of a national health card - a figure which the ministry claims is rising every year due to the increase in the population of the Islands.

Thomas was speaking at a Press conference held to inform the public on the status and performance of Balearic non-privately funded hospitals. He was accompanied on the occasion by Heath Services Director, Luis Alegre.

The minister claimed that the number of emergency cases attended to in the period under scrutiny, showed a 6.56 percent increase over and above the same period for the previous year. In numerical terms, said Thomas, this was a significant rise as it meant an extra 218'929 patients.

In terms of cases treated on a daily basis, analysis showed that whilst 1'135 people were seen to one year ago, the day-by-day average has now risen to 1'202. Of this figure, 12.11 percent needed to be admitted to a hospital bed. The number of cases requiring surgery has also risen - by 6.55 percent - meaning that this past year, 28'653 people have undergone either minor or major surgery. Demand for specialist consultants continues to grow with no less than a total of 588'898 patients being given appointments during the first half of this year - an increase of 3.85 percent.


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