Massive increase in requests for mask exemption. | M. À. Cañellas


Since the Government made it compulsory to wear a face mask in public places, Primary Care Health Centres have been inundated with requests for a medical certificate exempting them from the ruling.

"The other day a patient asked for a certificate for his wife saying she was overwhelmed by wearing a mask, and found it difficult to breathe." said D. Kostan Doganis, from Camp Redó Health Centre.

While most people requesting exemption have a legitimate reason for doing so, Doctors are finding that an increasing number of people are just trying it on.

"There are people who want to exempt themselves from wearing masks without justified base pathology, alleging anxiety, a dry throat or a thousand reasons that have nothing to do with a significant pulmonary pathology, a considerable decrease in air flow or a mental pathology such as it is cerebral palsy or autism,” explains Dr José Manuel Valverde from Es Pont d’Inca Centre.

In response to complaints from professionals, IB-Salut has developed a protocol based on scientific evidence to assess when it's more beneficial than harmful to exempt the patient from wearing the mask.

"The problem is that everyone believes that they have many rights but no obligations," says Dr Valverde, "When I put on my mask, I protect the health of other people, we protect each other."

There's little doubt that most people would prefer not to put on a face mask, especially in the heat of summer.

"It bothers me to wear a mask, but I don't get a certificate because it is the norm and we all have to adapt," says Dr Kostan Doganis From Camp Redó who also points out that each mask can only be used for a limited time.

"There are some people who wear the same mask until it breaks when they should change it for a new mask after four hours.