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Spain's Supreme Court halts A&E Closure

Source: El Pais - Sat 19th Jan 2013
Spain's Supreme Court halts A&E Closure

Nighttime emergency medical centers in 21 municipalities in Castilla-La Mancha will remain open, despite the local authority's decision to shut them down, until the regional Supreme Court has ruled on the matter.

The court ordered the precautionary measure after the Socialist mayor of Tembleque (Toledo) filed a complaint over the regional government's move. Numerous mayors across the region had planned to do likewise. The Castilla-La Mancha government said it will appeal the court order.

The regional authority, led by Popular Party secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal, announced its intention to close the 21 centers earlier in the week due to the "low number" of patients using such services.

Some 100,000 people would be affected by the closures, with many facing a 50-kilometer drive in the case of an emergency. The regional government described the court's intervention as "unheard of" and said that emergency services in rural Castilla-La Mancha are "completely guaranteed."

"We are trying to help more people. We will appeal and we think we will win," a spokesman told Europa Press.