Sunday, March 09, 2014

 

The Torrecárdenas Hospital

The provincial hospital is in Almería and is called the Torrecárdenas. It's a gigantic building which is stretched to the limit. Hard-working staff, nurses, doctors and emergency crews working long hours. An immense army of patients and out-patients, family members and entire gypsy clans wheel around the wards and passageways, while patients in pajamas creep outside with their drips attached to have a not very furtive cigarette. Over the way, there's a bar/restaurant doing splendid service, if a bit less than in the good old days when it also sold brandy. Indeed, back in the day,  if you gave blood, you got a chitty for a free drink, a coffee and biscuit perhaps, or that aforementioned brandy. Like most services in Spain, there isn't enough parking for the enormous number of visitors, while cars are regularly being towed from inconvenient 'spots' they've found or created. An army of the disabled collect a coin from each driver who is obliged to leave his car on a giant field of rocks just about within walking distance of the centre.
It's a fine and noble hospital, daily forced to work miracles. Perhaps the politicians should spend a little less on their high-speed trains, and a little more on their hospitals.

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