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Health & Safety

As everywhere, in Andalucia anyone with injuries such as deep cuts, gashes or burns is advised to get a tetanus vaccine, particularly if they can't remember when they had their last vaccination.

If you are taking oral anti-coagulants (medication to avoid blood-clotting), doctors at your local health clinic are responsible to keep an eye on your general health and to evaluate your risk factors in order to decide whether or not you can monitor your therapy on your own or need a doctor to keep closer tabs on your situation.

If you are a smoker, beware that your family doctor in Andalucia has an eye out for you! As part of the stop-smoking programme in this part of Spain, doctors at local clinics are supposed to ask all new patients whether they smoke in order to ensure that smokers are informed regarding the risks involved in continuing their habit and the benefits of stopping now.

Paediatric care begins the day your baby is born. Newborn babies must have the heel prick test at 5 to 7 days. This involves making an appointment - which hopefully you can do by ringing the public helpline and then bringing the baby to your local health centre for this test which is designed to detect possible metabolic problems such as hypothyroidism or phenylketonuria.

Some types of minor surgeries are carried out at local health clinics. Situations where minor surgery would take place at your local clinic include abscesses, ingrown nails, warts, cysts and other problems affecting the skin or the tissues just below the skin. Generally these are simple, easy to resolve problems that require low-technology, only local anaesthesia (if any), and they pose little risk in terms of complications.

If you have chronic conditions that require you to take more than five different medications for six months or more, the Andalucian Public Health System considers you to be a "multi-medication user". That could make you eligible for a standardised review of your medications with the aim of studying possible interactions and long term side effects of taking all these different substances simultaneously.

General Practitioners across Andalucia usually carry out the initial exams to determine if COPD could be a problem. From there patients are supposed to receive help managing their disease and even recuperating some of their lung capacity through rehabilitation whenever possible.

There are a number of instances in which doctors or nurses can be sent to your home. Technically this is something that should be offered to you in times of need, however, in practice you're dealing with a public system and you would do well to know your rights and then insist on them (if necessary try "polite pleading" as it often has good results).

This programme is, above everything else, supposed to be confidential. If you think you could be at-risk for exposure to HIV, visit your family doctor to ask about testing. In theory, testing is to be available to anyone who asks for it as well as patients who have HIV symptoms and those who are especially at risk.

Patients with high blood pressure will find help managing this chronic condition at their local public health clinic. In order to ensure standardised, quality care across our region, doctors have a specific protocol to follow for anyone with a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg, which is determined by taking readings three times during a minimum period of one week.

Healthcare workers as well as prison staff, policemen, fire fighters and street cleaners are all expected to get this jab. Anyone who has multiple sex partners should talk to their doctor about the vaccine. Also on the list are people living with Hepatitis B sufferers, those living in institutions or sentenced to long terms in prison, intravenous drug users and people who travel to countries where the disease is prevalent.

Generally, family doctors in primary care centres see patients over the age of 7 years. However, there is the option for parents to sign up children aged 7 to 14 if they prefer their family doctor to the paediatrician.

Every autumn health officials across southern Spain start to rally their forces for the annual flu jab campaign. As a norm, Andalucia has enough flu vaccines for everyone in need.

If you are looking for family planning services, look no further than your local public health clinic. As usual start with your family doctor, who is in charge of offering initial guidance and then ensuring you have the right papers to get what you need in the case you require a visit with a specialist.

If you have diabetes when you arrive in Andalucia, you need to see your new family doctor in order to be evaluated so that you can get yourself into the public system's programme for treatment.

Women between the ages of 50 and 65 have the right to breast cancer screening, including a mammogram, every two years. Local health clinics participate in the breast cancer screening programme, but they are not the only place where you can get your bi-annual check up.

In Andalucia doctors at local health clinics are supposed to be on the lookout for patients with asthma. If you show signs of asthma, your doctor may order tests, for example the non-invasive spirometer test, which involves breathing into a tube so the doctor can measure your lung capacity.

Swimming pools are a standard feature of life in southern Spain. It’s easier to find an apartment complex with a pool than without one. Most villas have their own pools and, in addition to pools, water features are common in both public and private gardens. And then there is the luxury of a jacuzzi, enjoyed by many homeowners.

Swimming pools are a standard feature of life in southern Spain. It’s easier to find an apartment complex with a pool than without one. Most villas have their own pools and, in addition to pools, water features are common in both public and private gardens. And then there is the luxury of a jacuzzi, enjoyed by many homeowners.

Primary Care Centres - Centros de Atención Primaria (CAP) in Spanish - are located throughout big cities as well as towns and villages across Andalucia. This is where you will meet your General Practitioner (GP) or Médico de Família and it is also where you will find a wide range of other services. However, the actual range of services depends on the centre, as those serving smaller villages may depend on larger centres for specialists, technologies and public health programmes.

It is true that babies are born every day, around the world. It is not true, however, that they are born in the same way or under the same conditions. In fact, both material standards of living and cultural factors affect even the medical procedures involved in birthing.