Patients supported the Thursday protest by doctors. | Simebal @SimebalCesm

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On Thursday morning, there was a protest in Palma to draw attention to overwork by GPs in the Balearics. The doctors union, representatives of family doctor societies and also patients gathered in front of the Santa Catalina health centre in Palma to demand urgent investment in the primary care system.

Doctors say that they are exhausted by work overload, which can mean having to see up to 45 patients a day. They argue that a lack of specialists plus the growth in population are overwhelming health centres. They are therefore calling for an increase in staff and a maximum of 25 patients a day.

Family doctors, they add, have not noticed the increase in investment in primary care that the Balearic government has made in recent years. They are the "gateway" to a public health system which is overstretched. This is resulting in some patients becoming aggressive because they do not feel they are receiving adequate attention and in health professionals' demotivation and weariness.

At the protest, a statement was read out that called for contingency plans for the coming years. There are due to be a number of retirements which could worsen the current situation of doctors and their working conditions.