Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes a regular blog for Huddersfield Hub.
With the changes in weather, the health services both here in Spain and in the UK are under pressure to cope with health issues for young and old.
We see frequently the growing number of patients seeking treatment in Britain with long waits for operations etc.
Here the health system is busy but is on top of the demands for minor ailments and major operations. For UK pensioners, all treatments, including specialist operations are free.
The efficiency and speed for treatment was highlighted by a close friend, who has used private medical insurance for decades, but decided to make use of his Spanish medical card.
After spraining his ankle, he rang his designated doctor for an appointment. The next day he was in front of his local clinic doctor who then arranged for an X-ray the following day.
After a further consultation and being given medication – for free – he said: “I have not often had such thorough, speedy attention in the private sector. Everyone was efficient and helpful.”
Elaine and I have been privileged to have had access to the Spanish system, which we found quite remarkable.
Meanwhile, the new and long-awaited extension to the Costa del Sol Hospital (above) is almost ready. In fact, after years of wrangling over who pays, it is partially in use, and by January will be accepting patients.
With more consultation rooms, operating theatres and beds it will be a pioneering project and a state-of-the-art unit, which has cost over €100 million.
Back in the sunshine there is a growing concern with the steady increasing problem with wild boars! Yes, these sturdy and fearless animals are roaming the streets and now beaches, interacting with humans in search of food. Plans are in hand to deal with the fate of them humanely.
A mum and her piglets (if that’s the right term!) were even spotted sneaking into our clinic in La Cala!
The effects of climate change, drought in the countryside and forest fires have forced the boars to come down and look for food and water.
Until this year they had not reached the beaches but now are seen in Marbella, Estepona and other popular resorts. They seek out food from bags left carelessly by people, too idle to lift lids and bin it.
Authorities have agreed these dangerous animals must be controlled. We have seen some parts of golf courses annihilated by the boars.
We’ve had some stormy winds and only a few small downpours, which has prompted town councils on the Western Costa del Sol to come together and introduce measures designed to save 20% of water.
Use of drinking water for street cleaning, garden maintenance etc was to be halted. The coastline from Manilva to Nerja is much affected by the drought. Axarquia reservoir has reached an all-time low of 8% full. Water in some towns is turned off from 10pm to 8.30am.
An annual date which the Spanish nationals and residents alike share is the November 1st public holiday, ‘All Saints Day’, which virtually closes down the nation.
It’s a special time for people to honour the dead, attend cemeteries and tidy up the designated places with flowers where loved ones’ remains are kept.
READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE