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Seven minutes at the doctors 

Dear Madam

Here is a symptom of the times concerning the health service in the Canaries!

We went along recently for an appointment at the El Fraile health centre and were absolutely stunned to see on the walls, including in the doctor’s room itself, this sign in Spanish and English: “Each patient not allowed more than seven minutes of consultation and for repeat prescriptions, three minutes!”

Doesn’t that take the biscuit. We wondered this. If a patient had real worries and concerns and perhaps is even suicidal and starts to talk to their doctor about depression, is the doctor going to look at his or her watch and say half way through the conversation that sorry, your time is up.

Or what if they are examining a patient and they get undressed and are lying on the bed when the seven minutes is over? Does the doctor ask them to leave and throw their clothes out into the corridor?

This is simply conveyor belt health service and we find it pretty awful. Do your readers agree?

I know people moan about the health service back in Britain but it seems not a lot better over here.

On the same theme, we have waited two years for our official heatlth cards to come back from Spain and when we queried this at the health centre, we were told there was still an enormous backlog and it would be as long as four year now. What? To endorse and laminate a card?

We are still shaking our heads in disbelief at these two things!! Further words fail us.

Name withheld