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.