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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 24, 2023  2 months, 10 hours, 41 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: Hospitalizations Due To COVID-19 In Spain Have Gone From 0.8 Per 100,000 Inhabitants To 1.8 In Two Weeks, Hospitals & ERs Overwhelmed!

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COVID-19 News: Hospitalizations Due To COVID-19 In Spain Have Gone From 0.8 Per 100,000 Inhabitants To 1.8 In Two Weeks, Hospitals & ERs Overwhelmed!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 24, 2023  2 months, 10 hours, 41 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: As the holiday season approaches, Spain finds itself grappling with a dire healthcare emergency, compounded by a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Recent data reveals a concerning escalation, with hospitalizations due to COVID-19 soaring from 0.8 to 1.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in just two weeks.

While Christmas and New Year family gatherings have yet to begin, festivities among co-workers and friends are providing fertile ground for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to circulate, raising alarms across the country.
The European Landscape: Rising Cases and Hospitalizations
Beyond Spain, a broader picture emerges across the European Union, indicating a worrisome uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and mortality rates. Particularly alarming is the surge in individuals aged 65 and over experiencing severe outcomes. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control highlights that SARS-CoV-2 continues to circulate at higher levels than seasonal flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Simultaneously, seasonal influenza activity is on the rise, with six countries reporting sentinel primary care positivity exceeding 10%.
Insights from Leading Experts
Dr Antoni Trilla, a senior consultant of the Preventive Medicine Service at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and a professor of Public Greeting at the University of Barcelona, provides insights into the current scenario. While acknowledging that COVID-19 seems controlled for the majority of the population, he emphasizes that 20% with risk factors, such as those over 60, individuals with immunosuppressive conditions, significant chronic diseases, and pregnant women, are at a heightened risk of complications and hospital admissions.
Unveiling the Healthcare Crisis in Spain
The surge in respiratory illnesses, coupled with the prevalence of COVID-19 and influenza, is exerting unprecedented pressure on Spain's healthcare system.
According to local COVID-19 News coverages, primary care facilities, including consultation services and continuous care points, are grappling with patient overload, intensifying the saturation of hospital emergency departments nationwide.
The Central Sindical Independiente y de Funcionarios (CSIF), a prominent union in public administrations, has identified systemic challenges contributing to this crisis.
Personnel Woes and Poor Planning Aggravate the Situation
A myriad of issues exacerbates the challenges faced by Spain's healthcare system, including inadequate planning of staff leaves and vacations, a critical shortage of healthcare professionals, and the absence of robust contingency plans for the holiday season. Notably, the National Health System eliminated 43,000 jobs between September and October, further straining an already burdened system, as reported by Social Security data.
Regional Snapshots of Healthcare Overwhelm
In various regions across Spain, healthcare facilities are on the brink of collapse:
Madrid: Primary care waiting list delays lead to the closure of health centers, placing additional strain on hospital emergency services.
Catalonia: Urgency points in hospitals surpass 50%, occasionally resulting in complete collapse.
Andalusia: Shortages of primary care physicians force consultations to close, increasing the workload on health centers and emergency services, with staff shortages leading to denied holidays and permissions.
The crisis extends to other regions, with delays, closures, and increased workload becoming the norm in Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Valencian Community, La Rioja, Galicia, Aragon, Extremadura, Asturias, Cantabria, and the Balearic Islands.
Urgent Calls for Action and Systemic Reforms
As the Council of Territorial Health Ministers convenes, the CSIF urgently calls on political leaders to prioritize healthcare through comprehensive reforms:
Increased Personnel and Funding: A strategic 5-10 year plan is imperative to elevate Spain's healthcare system to the European average, addressing a deficit of 9,500 primary care physicians and shortages in various specialties.
Employment Plan: CSIF proposes a public employment offer design for the next year, eliminating replacement quotas to create net employment. Multi-year planning should align with the real needs of the population.
Addressing Temporality: Accelerated stabilization processes are needed to reduce the temporary employment rate to 8% by December 2024, addressing concerns about the high level of temporary positions.
Improved Remuneration: CSIF rejects the agreed salary increase for public employees, advocating for a new agreement that addresses the loss of purchasing power. Renegotiating salary structures among regions is recommended to prevent a talent drain.
Early Retirement: Recognizing arduous working conditions and resource shortages, CSIF advocates for early retirement with reduction coefficients, demanding mechanisms to enable healthcare professionals to access this form of retirement.
Pending Reforms and Unmet Demands
Ongoing negotiations for the future Statute of the National Health System have left unmet demands from healthcare professionals, including adaptation and reclassification proposals pending for 17 years and the reclassification of all professional groups within the healthcare sector recommended by CSIF.
In conclusion, Spain's healthcare system stands at the brink of an unprecedented crisis, demanding urgent and comprehensive reforms to address immediate challenges and ensure the future sustainability of the nation's health services. The plea from healthcare professionals for increased personnel, funding, improved working conditions, and systemic reforms must be heeded to prevent further deterioration of the healthcare system. As Spain navigates the dual threat of a COVID-19 surge and influenza onslaught, the urgency of implementing these reforms becomes increasingly critical to safeguard public health and secure the well-being of the nation.
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.


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