Hospital tells patients to bring own pillows

Hospital tells patients to bring own pillows
Valladolid's HCU will only provide pillows to inpatients. File photo: dreamingofariz/Flickr
A hospital in the Spanish city of Valladolid has come under fire for telling outpatients with kidney conditions they will need to bring along their own pillows to treatment sessions.

Outpatients undergoing haemodialysis sessions at Valladolid's University Hospital (HCU) will now have to bring pillows with them.

As of February 13th, the key items of bedding will only be supplied to current inpatients.

This is according to a hospital missive posted by Twitter users MarinaGC91 recently.

"The note that they gave my husband the other day when he came out of the HCU of Valladolid…Shameful," wrote the man's shocked wife in the tweet.

The hospital has since responded, telling Spain's Huffington Post the message in question gives only a "partial" version of events, but conceded patients would have to bring in pillows with them "in some cases".

Valladolid's HCU is one of two large hospitals in the city. The institution came under fire last year when it emerged the catering firm that runs its canteen was charging 10 cents (14 cents) for glasses of tap water. 

The health charity Medicos del Mundo warned recently that cuts to Spain's health system were hurting the nation's poorest.

The charity said 873,000 people had lost access to Spain's free public healthcare system discontinued since September 2012 — chiefly immigrants whose entitlement lapsed because they lost their jobs.

Meanwhile, an OECD report from 2013 revealed that while Spanish health spending grew by 1.6 percent from 2000 to 2009, this figure dropped by 0.5 percent from 2009 to 2011.

Cuts to spending on cost-effective prevention programmes on obesity, harmful use of alcohol and smoking are all a cause for concern, says the OECD in its 2013 Heath at a Glance report report.

"Any short-term benefits to budgets are likely to be greatly outweighed by the long-term impact on health and spending," the study's authors argued.

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