The doctors complained that during 14 days patients with pacemakers were unable to receive attention owing to staff shortages caused by spending cuts.
“Since the 1st of May, patients with pacemaker problems were not being treated. They turned up for their annual checkups; some even being transported by ambulance and accompanied by family members who had to take time off work. Others come from as far away as 150 kilometres – some were even brought in from pensioners’ homes. All of them were informed by the nursing staff that there was no cardiologist available to carry out their check ups, ” reads the letter of complaint from the said department, which was sent to the regional ombudsman in Sevilla.
According to the medical union, the problem is that experienced and specialised staff are retiring but not being replaced. This resulted in the hospital lacking a cardiologist from the 1st to the 14th of May before a replacement doctor could be brought in.
The trouble is, the said replacement doctor was taken from the Cardiology outpatient surgery, meaning that the shortage has not been solved, merely shuffled around.
So bad is the situation that if a specialist requests an echo-cardiology test, the patient won’t get his appointment until summer 2016 – over a year’s backlog. Even worse are those requiring cardiac arrhythmia tests…. 18 months backlog.