The Regional Minister for Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre, highlighted the Andalusian Government’s commitment to improving health infrastructures in the Almanzora region during the inauguration of the new health centre in Macael. At the event, he was accompanied by the mayor of this town, Raúl Martínez, the delegate of the Andalusian Government in Almería, Maribel Sánchez, the territorial delegate, Juan de la Cruz Belmonte, and the provincial deputy of the Pfea, Matilde Díaz.
“These new facilities offer healthcare services to around 6,000 inhabitants of the towns of Macael and Laroya, mainly, and are part of the improvement of healthcare in the region, which in 2019 added another new health centre in the nearby municipality of Olula del Río”, said Aguirre, who assures that “in this way we are making one of the historical demands of the residents of this area a reality”.
The new health centre, which has received an investment of 1.9 million euros, is located on a 2,053 square metre site on the Avenida de Andalucía and consists of an existing building which has been completely renovated and a new one built next to it. Among the services available at the centre are the new emergency services. It is a 1,600 square metre building which has tripled the previous space and which also has a nursing area, a dental area and new spaces for minor surgery. It has also been fitted out with a Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy service with a Rehabilitation room, Electrotherapy room, changing rooms and toilets for patients and professionals. It also has a total of 5 family medicine consulting rooms and another for paediatrics, as well as an X-ray room and a meeting room.
For his part, the Mayor of Macael, Raúl Martínez, said that “the residents of this region and in particular those of my town are to be congratulated and we are grateful to the Andalusian Government for their work to make this centre a reality, after many years of demand, as well as the emergency services that avoid having to travel to other municipalities”.
The deputy of PFEA, Mati Díaz, has stressed the firm commitment of the Diputación de Almería and its president in the fight against depopulation: “Collaboration between institutions is essential to ensure and improve basic services in the municipalities of the interior of the province. The modernisation of this health centre will provide assistance to many residents of the region thanks, among others, to the Plan de Empleo de Fomento Agrario that invests money in the municipality and hires workers from the area through the more than 4,000 day jobs that have been necessary”.
Primary Care referrals
On another note, the Regional Minister for Health and Families also highlighted during his visit to Macael that referrals from Primary Care to specialist consultations have increased by 18% in 2021 compared to 2019 and by 50% compared to the same period in 2020. According to Aguirre, this increase in referrals is the result of several factors, but he stressed that “this government has removed the penalty for not referring, now when a primary care doctor considers that a patient should be seen by a specialist he refers them without fear that this will be detrimental to meeting their professional objectives”.
Thus, he recalled that “the volume of patients seen in a specialist consultation during the period January-June 2021 has been 1.7% higher than in the same period of 2019, which means 122,905 more patients seen; and if we compare it with 2020 it has been 11% higher, being 724,718 more patients seen”.