Anyone living here with children should be introduced to Alice Lauboeck. She is one of three paediatricians at the Almuñécar Health Centre (Centro de Salud). I was totally impressed with the passion she has for her profession, not to mention how sweet and utterly delightful she is.
Alice was born in Munich but has lived both in Spain and Germany at different periods throughout her life. Her grandparents originally moved to Velilla, and her parents followed suit and decided to move to Fuengirola, where they lived until she was 7 years old. The family then moved to Marbella where she attended the English International School. The family moved back to Germany for 4 years and then moved permanently to Almuñécar, where she attended the La Santa Cruz public school and grew up here as a teenager.
Needless to say, Alice has been integrated in both German and Spanish society and of course speaks fluent English, Spanish and German. When she turned 19 years old, she moved to Heidelberg for 2 years to study for her Foreign Language Business Economics Diploma. However, her dream was to study medicine. So when she was 21 she started studying medicine at the University of Granada for following 8 years, 6 years of theory and 2 years to study for the very intense and difficult state exam. Her journey then took her to the Canary Islands where she worked for 4 years at La Palma General Hospital as a GP and 1 year as the emergency doctor.
As much as she liked La Palma, she had a preference for Almuñécar and to return to her “roots”. Her mother had apparently also put a little loving parental pressure on her to come home. Alice set up a private consultancy clinic and had a good client base, combined with a 24 hour shift every 4 days at the Health Centre.
She married a Spanish man (also a doctor), and after giving birth to her daughter she closed her private clinic. She has had her permanent base in Almuñécar for the past 10-11 years.
Alice has been working at the Heath Centre for 6 years now. She studied as a general practitioner but chose Paediatrics as her specialty as she always loved this area of medicine and felt it was her “calling” and she loves children.
There are 10 GP’s at the Health Centre and she is one of the 3 paediatricians, as I mentioned. Her daily work life is very demanding in my opinion. The Health Centre is open between 8:30 and 14:00 for appointments and consultations.
Alice sees between 40 to 50 children a day, including emergency visits and regular health checks, amounting to between 200 and 250 in a week. On average that allows for eight minutes per patient, during which she has to welcome the patient, do the check-up or examination, provide explanation and write her report to the Health Centre a very hectic and stressful workday.
The Health Centre is open to anyone and they have a 24-hour emergency service. It is always recommended to make an appointment in advance, either via Internet or coming in directly. Normally you will be given an appointment for the following day or within two days. In an emergency it is best to come directly.
If you have a medical emergency it is important to know to call the number 061. You will be asked your name, your location and the problem or issue at hand. A doctor always overhears any conversation the operator has and will decide who is activated and dispatch the necessary medics and equipment. They have 2 ambulances at their disposal, which are dispatched with complete medical equipment, doctor, nurse and a fully equipped mobile emergency unit, if necessary. They also have a helicopter in the instance where there is need for rapid neuro or vascular surgery.