Early attention in the Canary Islands: "Promises that do not arrive"

Archive image of a girl with ASD in one of the therapies she follows. / JUAN CARLOS ALONSO

Families continue to add to the long waiting lists for their sons and daughters to access the service. Of the eleven cabinets planned, only six are working

Louisa del Rosario

Early care in a set of performances for boys and girls from 0 to 6 years old with
developmental deficit or at risk of development such as those that can cause autism spectrum disorders (TEA) and that includes physiotherapy, speech therapy, stimulation, psychomotricity and psychotherapy. “Early attention to child development is essential for the health and life of every child who faces or is at risk of facing a barrier in their development process.
The difference between accessing or not a really early intervention and practices based on scientific evidence can make the difference between achieving a greater or lesser degree of autonomy. and improve their present and future health and living conditions”, recalls the Platform for Early Care and the Rights of Children with Functional Diversity (Patdi), in the manifesto for the national day of early care that is celebrated today, Thursday 16 of June.

In the Canary Islands, however, public early care units have not yet been implemented on all the islands and, in fact, there are still
The eleven promised by the Canarian Government have not been completed.

9,000

According to the Platform for Early Care and the Rights of Children with Functional Diversity, there are 9,000 children in the Canary Islands who require early care. According to Health, in 2021 557 were treated and in the first quarter of 2022 258.

"We are still the same. Promises and Promises», regrets one of the platform's spokespersons, Miguel Llorca. «Of the 11 planned units there should be three in Gran Canaria and three in Tenerife. This Tuesday the second of Tenerife opened. We wait for the third ones on this island and in Gran Canaria, which are going to put it in the north, "lamented Llorca.

Also,
the second in Gran Canaria, opened in Vecindario, «has started operating 15 days ago and continues to suffer from a lack of staff. It does not have psychomotor specialists and already has a waiting list. All the units that are working in the Canary Islands have waiting lists. In Lanzarote there is no unity and it is not known when there will be, and in La Gomera and El Hierro there is not either, "added Patdi's spokesman.
In total, of the eleven planned, only six are in operation.

Yesterday Health reported in a press release that the five that are missing will be launched "in the second half" of this year.

A financial statement for the plan

Asked about the causes that the Canarian Government alleges for these delays, Llorca affirms that what they give them «long. They tell us that they are working on it, that they understand that they are behind schedule and that they are not going at the pace they would like because they find it very difficult to get staff, in addition to the location. That is why we in the meeting we had with the Canarian president (Ángel Víctor Torres)
We ask for your commitment to provide the plan with a financial file so that there is money and that the hiring is done with specific calls. to cover the needs of the units with the criteria established by law. Until now, the lists of the management of the hospitals where the care units are located are drawn and the personnel who are not specialists in early care compete. It is done with union criteria rather than professional, "says Patdi's spokesman.

This meeting with Torres was "two months ago" and from the platform it has been decided to give "a margin" so that the Canarian Government can specify the plan until after the summer, clinging "to the commitments they made", but they have to fulfill it , wishes Llorca.
“It is that the law was approved in 2019, and when it is not the pandemic it is the volcano of La Palma”regrets and adds that what they do not realize is that precisely covid-19 «has aggravated the situation of minors and increased the pathology because they are children who have not had relationships, the virtual has been abused and these children have difficulties for communication and social relations”, he abounds.

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