The number of positive cases is placing great strain on primary care. | Carlos Barba


The Association for Mutual Insurers for Workplace Accidents (AMAT) in Spain reports that there were 566,175 cases of sick leave in December, an increase of 632% over November and almost totally due to the Omicron variant. In the Balearics, the increase was some 270% to around 7,300.

The association is warning that a "tsunami" of contagion among workers, including health personnel, "is leading to a collapse at primary care centres". "Doctors are being overwhelmed by the increased management of sick leave procedures."

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Concern is being expressed not just about the effects on the health of the public but also about the consequences of a bottleneck that is causing an unnecessary lengthening of procedures for temporary disability. These have costs for companies and for the government.

The AMAT suggests that the situation could be alleviated by establishing a mechanism at the national level whereby doctors follow a single procedure for putting people off sick and discharging them. This would cover seven days and mean that only people who haven't recovered in that time would need to contact a doctor.

This would reduce doctors' administrative time by almost a half and help to reduce the pressure on primary care.