Tourists are going to PAC health centres in Majorca unnecessarily. | Alejandro Sepulveda


Health centres in Majorca's main resorts are said to have to attend to some hundred people per day who are either tourists or workers. This, at any rate, is the experience at the PAC in Arenal.

The heads of medicine, nursing and admissions at the centre have produced leaflets in four languages which provide advice regarding the most common complaints that patients have. In many instances they don't need to go and see a doctor or nurse, such as if they have mosquito bites. It is recommended that these are treated by cleaning the area with soap and water, applying ice and then some calamine.

The Arenal PAC typically deals with people who are drunk, who have gastroenteritis, who are sunburnt and who have insect bites. A doctor at the centre, Catalina Nuñez, points out that at weekends there are many youngsters who have come to Majorca for "study trips" and who end up at emergencies because they can't control their drinking. Where gastroenteritis is concerned, this can be the result of eating poorly, drinking little or no water, not eating sufficient fruit and taking food to the beach that can degrade under the sun.

As for workers, every day the centre treats restaurant and bar employees who have suffered cuts. There are also chambermaids. They are regular patients at the PAC and have back pain and muscle contraction.