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Look after yourself in Mallorca

Summer rush in the health service


When so many tourists come to Mallorca in a short space of time it will be no surprise to hear that the island's public health service can sometimes be inundated with people needing treatment. The health service is accessible by any citizen of the European Union who has his home country's European Health Insurance Card. This entitles the holder to free medical treatment while they are visiting another EU country.

This year the Balearic Islands Health Service, Ibsalut, will invoice around €30 million to other countries for the treatment it has provided to their citizens and a further €20 million to insurance companies and individuals from outside the EU. Unsurprisingly 36% of the total covers treatment of nearly 15,000 Brits and 28% for 11,600 Germans.

This week, one of the local health centres in the Playa de Palma/Arenal area has revealed that it is inundated with 'sick' tourists, numbering over 100 a day, most of whom arrive with minor ailments that don't need the time and expertise of a qualified doctor to treat them or which can be avoided.

The centre has produced leaflets in the main languages spoken in the area to highlight the problems faced; insect bites, sunburn, drunkenness and stomach upsets. Creams for stings, bites and sunburn are available at the local pharmacy which also has solutions for gastroenteritis. They also advise not to drink to much alcohol, drink plenty of water and do not take foods which deteriorate quickly in heat to a boiling hot beach!

Sounds like common sense to me, but a little thought on holiday will help our overworked medics to treat people who are really in need.