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Hi All. My wife & I had originally considered moving to Spain (we're both late 60's & retired) but I'm now doubtful. We've looked at various places in Spain and in April we were staying in Guardamar to scout the area when I had an accident, fell down some stairs (sober!) and broke my arm. The ambulance medics wanted my EHIC which I produced & they took me to a local hospital. Believe it or not, I have never broken a bone previously so had no idea what to expect. When the hospital staff reset the bones in my arm they did so by clamping the upper arm and hauling on the hand without giving me any anaesthetic, which was, to say the least, painful. On my return to the UK I attended the fracture clinic at the local hospital and the staff there couldn't believe my story.

The point is, I'd watched a documentary a few months ago about the state of the pharmacies in Spain as they weren't being paid by central government so couldn't restock the drugs dispensed on prescription. Is it possible that Spanish hospitals have some anaesthetics but not enough and so reserve them for major procedures only? The thought of going through that process again is less than appealing.
 

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Hi All. My wife & I had originally considered moving to Spain (we're both late 60's & retired) but I'm now doubtful. We've looked at various places in Spain and in April we were staying in Guardamar to scout the area when I had an accident, fell down some stairs (sober!) and broke my arm. The ambulance medics wanted my EHIC which I produced & they took me to a local hospital. Believe it or not, I have never broken a bone previously so had no idea what to expect. When the hospital staff reset the bones in my arm they did so by clamping the upper arm and hauling on the hand without giving me any anaesthetic, which was, to say the least, painful. On my return to the UK I attended the fracture clinic at the local hospital and the staff there couldn't believe my story.

The point is, I'd watched a documentary a few months ago about the state of the pharmacies in Spain as they weren't being paid by central government so couldn't restock the drugs dispensed on prescription. Is it possible that Spanish hospitals have some anaesthetics but not enough and so reserve them for major procedures only? The thought of going through that process again is less than appealing.
Well Chris (spotted the last name) when I was in the SAS we never used any form of pain killer, still pull my teeth out with a pair of mole-grips to this day rather than visit the dentist. ;) (btw your books are crap)

BTW I have never had an issue at the Chemist, or know of anyone who has & the same applies to Hospitals / Medical center where we live.
 

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Well Chris (spotted the last name) when I was in the SAS we never used any form of pain killer, still pull my teeth out with a pair of mole-grips to this day rather than visit the dentist. ;) (btw your books are crap)

BTW I have never had an issue at the Chemist, or know of anyone who has & the same applies to Hospitals / Medical center where we live.
Thanks for your comments - I'll let my cousin Andy have a copy & no doubt he'll call to see you for a chat :)

The article was BBC News - Valencia: A Spanish city without medicine and in all seriousness it's worrying. At age 67 I'm generally healthy but have the fear of God in me should anything happen while I'm in Spain. I have no doubt that the nurses & doctors are just as professional as those in the UK but they can't work miracles.
 

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Thanks for your comments - I'll let my cousin Andy have a copy & no doubt he'll call to see you for a chat :)

The article was BBC News - Valencia: A Spanish city without medicine and in all seriousness it's worrying. At age 67 I'm generally healthy but have the fear of God in me should anything happen while I'm in Spain. I have no doubt that the nurses & doctors are just as professional as those in the UK but they can't work miracles.

I broke my leg in Spain and my treatment was second to none. In Spain the treatment is very much a "no nonsense" approach - which I prefer! None of the PC, sympathetic softly softly approach you get in the UK !. There was no wait (unlike a friend of mine who broke her leg in the UK a couple of months ago - she was left waiting in A&E for 6 hours and without pain killers), I went straight in and was xrayed immediately. I didnt have pain killers while they put it back into position because they said it would delay the treatment and to be honest, it was such a relief to be treated, a few more minutes of pain didnt matter. That said, they put the plaster caste on too tightly, so I ended up cutting it off myself and going to a private hospital and getting a removable splint a few days later.

So for me I'd sooner be in spain - of course the recession is taking its toll - but then it is in the UK too. The NHS is a complete shambles from top to bottom right now.

Jo xxx
 

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Thanks for your comments - I'll let my cousin Andy have a copy & no doubt he'll call to see you for a chat :)

The article was BBC News - Valencia: A Spanish city without medicine and in all seriousness it's worrying. At age 67 I'm generally healthy but have the fear of God in me should anything happen while I'm in Spain. I have no doubt that the nurses & doctors are just as professional as those in the UK but they can't work miracles.
Thanks to a free check-up I was diagnosed with a serious heart condition of which I was totally unaware. I have never been ill in my life....
The treatment I have received at the hospital, GP surgery and pharmacy has been excellent.

Two years ago I had a tiny nasty thing on my left index finger. I thought it was unimportant and even asked the vet at our dog refuge to deal with it. But the GP sent me to the hospital for an XRay, a biopsy and finally for an op!

So healthcare here in Andalucia is very good indeed...but that is my limited experience.
 

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A couple of years ago I had 2 lithotripsies done here in Spain (kidney stones blasted with sound waves) - once at a private hospital and once at a public one. At the private hospital I was completely sedated (unconscious basically), which is common procedure from what I've read online. But at the public hospital I was given no sedation at all. Needless to say it was quite painful. Because I told the technician once they started that they had forgotten the sedation and I needed it they wrote in my record that I was an "uncooperative patient". Hmmph. No, I was not uncooperative, I was just not expecting the pain, especially considering I had asked the social security urologist if I would be sedated and he said yes.

Now I have a colonoscopy coming up and I'm wondering if they'll give me sedation for that (I was told I'd get it) or if they'll expect me to grin and bear it. I'm not looking forward to finding out.

I don't think it is a lack of anesthesia causing these situations. I think it's how they keep costs down. No anesthesia means no anesthesiologist and no post-procedure recovery/nursing care. After my private hospital lithotripsy I spent several hours being monitored in post-op. After my social security lithotripsy I literally stood up from the table and walked out the door.
 

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The simplest answer is private medical insurance, I have had pretty bad to mediocre treatment from the public doctors/hospitals, private has been better.

I am not sure if your wife and your age will affect the purchase of medical insurance but you could perhaps have a look online to see what is being offered and by whom.
 

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Thanks for your comments - I'll let my cousin Andy have a copy & no doubt he'll call to see you for a chat :)

The article was BBC News - Valencia: A Spanish city without medicine and in all seriousness it's worrying. At age 67 I'm generally healthy but have the fear of God in me should anything happen while I'm in Spain. I have no doubt that the nurses & doctors are just as professional as those in the UK but they can't work miracles.
What you have read in the article is correct because the article is talking about Valencia. Valencia has a debt the size of some countries national debt and it's disgusting.
Read this from an article published a year ago

This is the first time that the state has helped out a region - which in this case, happens to be the most indebted one out of Spain's 17 semi-autonomous communities. Valencia's debt-to-GDP ratio is 19.9 percent, and last September its deficit stood at 2.3 percent, a whole percentage point above what the state had authorized for the entire year.Last year, the Valencian government owed providers 2.4 billion euros in unpaid bills, and pharmacies across the region recently went on a two-day strike to protest the situation

http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/01/04/inenglish/1325658049_850210.html

Most regions have a debt, but this shows just how much Valencia spun out of control, so in this region at least there have been big problems in the pharmacies. There have been cut backs in many regions in the health service in general with some health centres being closed, emergency room attention at night cut, doctors and nurses contracts being ended, but much will depend on the region.
My daughter had meningitis (one week in hospital) and an emergency appendectomy (2 weeks in hospital - it was serious!!) and was given very professional, but as Jojo says no nonsense, care. She was seen to quickly and made a full recovery. This was all a few years ago.
Compare to this.
A friend of mine has a pain regulator machine implanted in her back and has been given a very high standard care most of the time. When she was having it replaced last month the doctor who operated was made redundant the day after he did the operation and was not permitted to see his patients.She never saw him again after such a delicate and important operation...
 

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If you are at all concerned and can afford it I would take a look at private medical insurance.

Like most places Spain is struggling with cutbacks and to be honest even before the crisis the doctors and nurses bedside manner sucked.
 

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I posted the following on a similar thread ....

I know someone with private health insurance here who started having similar symptoms to one of my daughters at about the same time she did - sometime in February

I took her to her state paediatrician - he went to his private GP - I made the appointment online the day before - he had to wait a week

a week later we were back for a check-up & the paediatrician said an x-ray & scan were required

the appointments were made by the receptionist that day for the following week - my friend was still waiting to see his private GP

the day after the scan & x ray - back at paediatrician - referral to hospital consultant for the following week - the hospital is 20 minutes away

my friend had now seen the GP & was waiting to be sent an appt for an x ray & scan - the hospital is an hour away

consultant appt for my daughter - 10 sessions of physio required - we can have this done in our local centro de salud so we made a detour, dropped the letter off & they rang me the next day for an appt the following day - she had 10 sessions over next 3 weeks & was given an 8am appointment so that she didn't have to miss too much school - just before the last appt I was to phone the hospital for a check up - which was arranged for a couple of days later - 6 more physio sessions required, which were spread over the next couple of weeks & then a final check up appt at the hospital made there & then...........

so, since February she has had 3 paediatrician appointments, 3 hospital appointments apart from the scan & x ray & 16 physio sessions - & is now fine

my friend has so far seen a consultant twice, had a scan & an x ray & had 2 physio appts - they still don't know what's wrong & he's in agony - & no - none of the medical staff he has encountered speak English..............
also, my other daughter has a couple of conditions which need regular monitoring, so we're back & forth to the doctors & hospital every few months for check-ups

at an appt with her endocrinologist, we mentioned a recent return of almost constant tonsillitis - there can be a link with her condition

an ENT appt was made there & then for a couple of weeks later, a follow up 3 months later to see if the treatment was helping............ she'll have her tonsils out this summer
 

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I broke my leg in Spain and my treatment was second to none. In Spain the treatment is very much a "no nonsense" approach - which I prefer! None of the PC, sympathetic softly softly approach you get in the UK !. There was no wait (unlike a friend of mine who broke her leg in the UK a couple of months ago - she was left waiting in A&E for 6 hours and without pain killers), I went straight in and was xrayed immediately. I didnt have pain killers while they put it back into position because they said it would delay the treatment and to be honest, it was such a relief to be treated, a few more minutes of pain didnt matter. That said, they put the plaster caste on too tightly, so I ended up cutting it off myself and going to a private hospital and getting a removable splint a few days later.

So for me I'd sooner be in spain - of course the recession is taking its toll - but then it is in the UK too. The NHS is a complete shambles from top to bottom right now.

Jo xxx
You should go back into nursing jojo, you'll earn far more than you do now and you'll get to see things for real. Returning to nursing - NHS Careers is a good starting point so get off you bum and get back nursing.

You say the NHS is a shambles but you don't know that do you, all you know are the 'horror' stories thrown about on the Daily Mail or forums like this where people can spout off all sorts of nonsense as though their diatribes were written in stone rather than based on fact. IF your friend went six hours with a broken leg without a reason for no pain relief being given then they should pursue a course of legal action.

My mother in law went under the knife in the UK to sort out the utter shambles of a job the Spanish hospital did on her leg fractures when she had an accident on holiday. The staff here were stunned at the mess they'd (the Spanish) made of her leg.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Reading these interesting replies has helped to clarify the matter - it seems that a minor procedure without anaesthetic is normal in Spain. If I'd had some warning then I could have coped better, but I'm blaming that on my inadequate knowledge of Spanish - perhaps the staff said "grit your teeth & get on with it" but I have a long way to go before that would get through to my confused brain.

Many thanks to everybody for their comments.
 

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You are unlikely to get a consensus on here because everyone's experience is individual to them. You also have to wonder to what they are comparing - if for example you broke your arm have you received treatment for a broken arm in the UK to make a comparison? probably not. I think it was Jo said "my treatment was second to none. She then went on to say " That said, they put the plaster caste on too tightly, so I ended up cutting it off myself " - both can't be true!!
 

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This stupid thing just lost my post which ran to a couple of paragraphs :mad:

Here in Andalucía we get excellent care and there are no problems with getting medications in the pharmacies.
 

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The Pharmacy in our village hasn't been paid for over 3 months so he is now getting pretty low on stock. Sometimes he has to borrow medication from other pharmacy's but I guess there may come a time if they aren't paid and paid in full soon that they can't let him have anything further.
 

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Here in Andalucía we get excellent care and there are no problems with getting medications in the pharmacies.
Well my experience with the lithotripsy happened in Andalucia, and I wouldn't say it was excellent. And just at the beginning of the month I had to go to three different pharmacies to find some medication I had been prescribed.

As someone else said, everyone's experience is individual to them. No system is perfect and there will always be different opinions about it.
 

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You should go back into nursing jojo, you'll earn far more than you do now and you'll get to see things for real. Returning to nursing - NHS Careers is a good starting point so get off you bum and get back nursing.

You say the NHS is a shambles but you don't know that do you, all you know are the 'horror' stories thrown about on the Daily Mail or forums like this where people can spout off all sorts of nonsense as though their diatribes were written in stone rather than based on fact. IF your friend went six hours with a broken leg without a reason for no pain relief being given then they should pursue a course of legal action.
Interestingly Bob, I AM doing some work for the NHS right now. Its a consultancy position and I'm beyond horrified at the ridiculous waste of money, resources and time that is in every corner, high and low in the NHS - the truth goes way passed the stories in the tabloids!! That said, I wouldnt ever knock the staff on the front line, altho in many cases (in particular the ones I'm looking at), they are badly managed and simply unable to perform as they'd like or as they should!!! But the parts I'm looking at in the main are the admin and management. One things for sure, there are too many management layers and too many back handers!

...Oh and my friend was unfortunate enough to break her lag on a Friday night 11pmish and there were far too many rowdy cases that got in the way and the radiographer wasnt available for some reason??!!


Jo xxx
 

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What sort of work are you doing Jo, is it better than nursing itself? I presume it pays better than your band when a practise nurse? The 'suits' are closing down a local A&E unit by us to save money and improve service although I don't see how a potential journey of ten miles will improve things. A small mental health unit was closed to save £3m a year, the new costs for integration and amalgamation of services are running at around £7m a year extra. My wife is a band nine so involved to a degree with financial planning and having been in the job for well over thirty years has a great depth of clinical knowledge and thankfully common sense; she tends to 'win her corner' more than loose it but we do feel sorry for the younger inexperienced charge nurses/ward mangers who often get trampled by bureaucracy. Thankfully 'we' are still delivering the goods down here.
 

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As a newbie just starting on the journey of moving to Spain this thread has been of great interest...

I've got a vested interest in the standard of care in andalucian hospitals....2 years ago I smashed my hip socket to pieces in a cycling accident...the NHS has done all it can, but now it's just a case of getting on with it. In Spain however, because of the climate/humidity(??) I find the after effects of the accident minimal, and my daily life so much better.

However, as a result I may need to rely on medical backup in Spain more than most in later life, so the standard of the service, and its availability to me is important to me in my decision making.

My question is...should I go down the private medical insurance route who are the best companies in Spain to contact and consider? Also what is the approx cost of it per month? I realise my premiums may be higher anyway, and my existing condition might complicate my cover in the future...but I just wondered if someone could point me in the right direction to make some enquiries.

Thank you :)
 

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As a newbie just starting on the journey of moving to Spain this thread has been of great interest...

I've got a vested interest in the standard of care in andalucian hospitals....2 years ago I smashed my hip socket to pieces in a cycling accident...the NHS has done all it can, but now it's just a case of getting on with it. In Spain however, because of the climate/humidity(??) I find the after effects of the accident minimal, and my daily life so much better.

However, as a result I may need to rely on medical backup in Spain more than most in later life, so the standard of the service, and its availability to me is important to me in my decision making.

My question is...should I go down the private medical insurance route who are the best companies in Spain to contact and consider? Also what is the approx cost of it per month? I realise my premiums may be higher anyway, and my existing condition might complicate my cover in the future...but I just wondered if someone could point me in the right direction to make some enquiries.

Thank you :)
hi

the availabilty of the Spanish state health service to you is dependent on your personal circumstances - are you/will you be a UK state pensioner when you move here or will you be early retired or working?

as to the standard - as you will see from this & other similar threads, we all have different experiences - some great, some good, some indifferent & some bad - & I'm sure that would be the same in the UK

private health insurance is generally much cheaper here than in the UK though - if you look on our FAQs & useful info thread you'll find some links to comparison sites which will give you some idea
 
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