The total amount of time off for "temporary incapacity" in the Balearics increased last year, which is being attributed to the fact that there were more people in employment. But although there were more days off, the average length of time when workers were off was reduced. This is being put down to worries about losing jobs. The average time was 34.7 days, which were 2.6 fewer than in 2014, while the total number of days was over 3.4 million: it was 2.9 million in 2014. The number of medical certificates to sign workers back on was correspondingly greater: almost 98,000 people as opposed to close to 77,500 in 2014.
The head of the medical inspection service, Joaquín García Rodríguez, says that people are now asking to be signed off work because of temporary incapacity because they really need to be. Economic crisis has unquestionably influenced this. When employment is precarious, workers will go back to work earlier. When there is economic recovery and more employment, the numbers being signed off increases.
In the Balearics, the duration of "bajas" (being signed off) was 2.5 points lower than the national average in 2015. There is also a lower than average level of sick leave payment in the Balearics: 2.80 euros below the national average.
García adds that there is a close review of medical histories with patients seeking "bajas". This is to try and sort out any "fraudulent" claims and to identify patients who really have a need to be signed off.
The inspection service at the IB-Salut health service has greatly improved the management of temporary incapacities over the past ten years. From having been towards the bottom of the list among Spain's regions, the Balearics is now second in terms of having the best results in the management of certificates for time off.
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