Health Centres that were closed during the coronavirus lockdown have reopened but they’re absolutely saturated because they are only operating part-time and have fewer staff.
Under the new Primary Care System, the first point of contact for patients is a telephone consultation, but a growing number of people are complaining about doctors diagnosing them without seeing them in person.
The dispensary at Santa Margalida Health Centre is only open on Thursdays and Fridays; Consell operates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; Selva is open three days a week and the Health Centres in Moscari, Caimari and Biniamar only operate one day a week.
On other days people have to go to their local PACs, but will only be seen if they have an appointment, but patients say it's almost impossible to make one because the lines are always busy.
Alaró City Council allocated two 'phone lines to the dispensary after a number of complaints from neighbours and has also provided a protective screen for staff who are dealing with patients face-to-face.
As if saturation wasn’t enough to deal with, the air conditioning at the Santa Maria PAC has been broken for the last three months which is making life extremely difficult for staff and patients.
“With the increase in outbreaks we are carrying out an average of 40 PCR tests a day and wearing PPE from head to toe in temperatures of 35 degrees, which is unsustainable,” they said. “Some staff are considering leaving due to physical and mental exhaustion because of the lack of staff.”
The Ministry of Health wants Centres to introduce a system that will separate Covid-19 cases from the rest of the patients.
"A double circuit must be introduced to guarantee the safety of patients," said a Ministry of Health Spokesperson.