The end of the fifth wave does not improve the situation in family doctors’ and paediatricians’ surgeries, which continue to be overwhelmed.
At the end of the summer, primary care consultations in the region are accumulating delays of up to 12 days in many health areas. The return from holidays and the pandemic have increased the workload of these professionals, all of which is aggravated by the absence of staff to cover substitutions and the obligation to double schedules.
The month of September begins with a spike in delays in consultations as the accumulated backlog from July and August is combined with the doubling of shifts, cases of coronavirus and the return of patients who wait until the end of the summer to see their GP, according to Jesús Abenza, vice-president of the Murcian Society of Primary Care Doctors.
The problem is widespread, although in some health areas, such as those located on the coast or in rural areas, it can be even greater and can take up to twelve days.
Family doctors in the region lament the lack of planning in health management and the differences between health areas, and once again insist on the need to cover sick leave and carry out shock plans with afternoon shifts, as is done in specialised care, in order to reduce waiting lists.
COMPLAINTS BY THE ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH USERS
The Association of Public Health Users denounces that delays in Primary Care are even affecting telephone attention and they are calling for more doctors in surgeries and health centres in order to be able to attend to patients properly.
According to their spokesperson, Mayer Nicolás, they have also noted delays in being attended not only in face-to-face consultations but also in all health areas, including those which traditionally do not usually have waiting lists.
The association of public health users considers it necessary to increase staffing levels in order to avoid overloading primary care, the gateway to the health system.