Fuengirola Health Care Centre Delayed

Fuengirola Health Care Centre Delayed

Fuengirola Faces Another Busy Summer Without Los Pacos Health Centre

Fuengirola is heading into another busy summer season without the much-anticipated Los Pacos health centre, despite construction commencing at the end of 2022.

For decades, residents have called for a new health centre to accommodate the town's rapidly growing population. Currently, Fuengirola operates only two health centres: Los Boliches and Fuengirola Oeste, both of which serve approximately 40,000 people each.

The Los Pacos health centre is intended to serve around 18,000 residents from the Los Pacos, Torreblanca, and Carvajal neighborhoods. However, despite an initial completion target of January, Fuengirola remains reliant on its two existing health centres this summer. There is still no official opening date for the Los Pacos centre, as the Junta de Andalucía has not provided one.

"It is impossible for it to open this summer," said Antonio de la Cruz Cantero, the Medical Union's delegate for the Costa del Sol. "The building is finished, but Endesa has yet to sign off so that testing of the equipment can begin," he added.

Staffing Challenges

The organisation of staff for the new centre remains unresolved. Initially, it was announced that the Los Pacos centre would feature up to 34 consulting rooms, including six for paediatrics and two multi-purpose rooms. The centre is also expected to offer minor surgery services, a dental office, nursery education, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, and radiology, staffed by an estimated 50 health professionals.

"We know that they are going to transfer professionals from the Los Boliches health centre to Los Pacos, but we still don't know how the staff will be organised," De la Cruz said. He criticised this approach, stating, "If they take the doctors from one centre to another, the care load that currently exists, and which is much greater than it should be, will remain the same. In Los Boliches, there will be fewer patients, but there will also be fewer doctors."

Existing Shortages

A study by the Medical Union highlighted that, based on the number of vacancies and the population served, the Los Boliches health centre currently needs five more family doctors than are available, while Fuengirola Oeste needs one more doctor.

As the summer season approaches, Fuengirola residents will continue to face challenges accessing healthcare services, with the long-awaited Los Pacos health centre remaining unopened and operational health centres grappling with existing demand.

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