Minister slammed for hospital visit

Spat hots up as independent report reveals Andalucía trails rest of the country in public health funding

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Monday's visit by the region's health minister has raised hackles at Huércal Overa council

By Richard Torné

An ongoing row over staff shortages at Huercal Ocera’s La Inmaculada hospital shows no sign of abating after the Junta’s health minister was this week accused of snubbing the local mayor during an official visit.

Minister Marina Álvarez’s tour of La Inmaculada on Monday was intended as a morale-boosting exercise in the wake of recent reports about the chronic lack of specialists at the hospital, which serves more than 150,000 people in Almería province. But Huércal Overa council issued an angry statement afterwards, saying the minister had “sneaked in through the back door” as councillors had not been informed of the visit.

The perceived snub comes after the local authority launched a petition two weeks ago calling on the Junta to provide the same number of specialists for La Inmaculada as in other hospitals in Almería and the region.

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper

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