Homeless Tours Reveal a Hidden Side of Barcelona Reply

homeless tours Barcelona

Ann Sewell writes for All Voices.com–Barcelona in Spain is an emblematic and popular city for tourists, but it also has a hidden side – homeless people living on its streets. Ramón Holgado, 64, was homeless. He used to sleep on the streets. But this Christmas he decided to improve his plight, and now takes visitors to Barcelona on homeless-themed tours of the streets in which he used to merely exist. He tells tourists the history of the city and shows them some of the popular spots, but Holgado also gives visitors an insight into what the economic crisis has done to this emblematic city. He shows them examples of the poverty residents are suffering through and introduces them to the homeless of Barcelona.

Holgado has an interesting history, as he was previously a chef in a posh New York City restaurant. He decided to return home to Spain but after losing his father and brother and suffering a breakdown, ended up on the streets. He explains how one is constantly exposed to thieves, addicts and other homeless people on the streets and can so easily sink into a rut that’s difficult to climb out of. But he managed to scrape together enough money to share a small rented apartment and hopes to live a better life.



Spanish Nurses Hunted by British Health Service Reply

Spanish nurse NHS

Spanish nurses are being hunted down in the workplace, as a zealous recruitment drive in the UK as seeing them targeted with offers for work in the UK NHS.

Mark Nolan writes for The Leader.info–The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that a trip by three members of the hospital to Madrid last month has resulted in five new nurses being recruited for the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and Calderdale Royal Hospital.

The reason for the Spanish recruitment campaign is said to be due to a struggle to fill nursing positions locally, and so a Human Resources Manager, accompanied by two nurse recruiters, jetted off to Spain, where they interviewed just 8 candidates, offering 5 of them a new job in the New Year.

With the offer of a relocation package that includes on-site accommodation, rotational experience around the hospital and in community and a training programme, as well as an attractive salary, it seems like the loss to the Spanish healthcare system is nothing but a gain to the NHS.


Spain: Medical Tourists to Double Within Five Years Reply

Medical tourism Spain

Tourism Review.com–The number of medical tourists coming to Spain is expected to double in the next five years. A new public-private partnership ‘SpainCares’ has been proposed to boost the segment and to achieve 200,000 travelers seeking medical care in the country in 2019. 

According to estimates from the president of the Spanish Tourism Cluster of Health, Íñigo Valcaneras, cooperation with the Ministry of Industry in this area could place Spain among the top three medical tourism countries in the world, shortening the distance that separates it from countries like the United States, Morocco and the Czech Republic. “Our sectors are much more competitive from the point of view of health and tourism, especially when we unleash our full potential with this initiative,” said Valcaneras. To achieve it, the Tourism Cluster, through the EOI Foundation and Secretary of State for Tourism, and the body of private companies have signed two agreements to organize activities to attract foreign patients generating revenue and employment in Spain.


What This Small Island Can Teach the World about Disease Control Reply

Cuban doctors abroad
West Africa needs what Cuba has: a well-trained, coordinated healthcare system. Anything less and Ebola wins

The Guardian.com–Guatemala, Pakistan, Indonesia, Haiti. Four different nations that share a common experience: in the past decade, they were all struck by natural disasters which overwhelmed their under-staffed and under-funded public health systems. Into the rubble, flooding, and chaos of these distinct cultures and contexts, Cuba dispatched a specialised disaster and epidemic control team to support local health providers. It was a story of unprecedented medical solidarity by a developing country which few media outlets picked up – until now.

The Henry Reeve Brigade, as it’s known, was established in 2005 by more than 1,500 Cuban health professionals trained in disaster medicine and infectious disease containment; built on 40 years of medical aid experience, the volunteer team was outfitted with essential medicines and equipment and prepared to deploy to US regions ravaged by Hurricane Katrina (the offer was rejected by the Bush administration). Today, Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade is the largest medical team on the ground in west Africa battling Ebola.


Senior Home Swaps? Social Network Seeks to Help Seniors Travel Reply

senior residential swaps

CTV News.ca–Conventional wisdom would hold that a move into a retirement home means that a pensioner’s days of adventure are over. But a new social network in Slovenia wants to change that and make globetrotting easier for older folk with wanderlust who want — or need — the services of a specialized residence for seniors. “Once the opportunity arose, I quickly decided I wanted to go to Spain,” said Jozica Kucera, a 77-year-old widow from Slovenia. In late July, she swapped her room in a retirement home in the northern city of Topolsica to spend a week at a similar facility in Mataro, a Mediterranean beach town near Barcelona.

She speaks no Spanish, though has German and some English “but we’ll find a way,” Kucera told AFP before leaving. “I’m not afraid at all. I wonder how elderly people live there.” Travelling in the opposite direction was Miquel Ribas, an 82-year-old Spaniard who stayed in Kucera’s room while she occupied his.


Olive Oil Could Help to Reverse Heart Failure, Scientists Claim Reply

Spanish olive oil

Olive oil could help reverse a patient’s heart failure “immediately”, scientists have claimed. This is excellent news for Spain, the world’s largest producer of olive oil.

Shortness of breath, both during activity or rest; swelling of the feet, ankles, stomach and lower back; and fatigue are all symptoms of heart failure.


Spain’s Model Organ Donor System in Jeopardy? Reply

Spanish organ transplant

Spanish transplant candidates are some of the most likely to receive an organ, since the country has the highest organ donation rate in the world: 35.1 donors per million.

Evangeline O’Regan writes for Al Jazeera.com–Sonia Gallego, 30, was born with polycystic kidney disease. Since birth, she has had ongoing renal dialysis, and undergone three kidney transplants. Now, she is back on the waiting list and on stand-by to receive her fourth kidney. “He [the kidney] can come when he wants, as long as he arrives all right and stays for many years,” says Sonia with a touch of humour. “That’s the most important thing”. Worldwide, there are one million patients just like Sonia waiting to receive a much needed heart, kidney, liver, lungs, or pancreas. According to the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (associated with the World Health Organisation) just 100,000 transplants are carried out each year. Only one in 10 patients will receive a transplant.


12 Things The World Can Learn From Spain Reply

 Friendship Spanish style

Huffington Post.com–If there’s a tradition that Spain can pass on to the world, and that the world has already begun to embrace, it is the siesta. The importance of resting after a meal to gather a bit of strength before facing the rest of the workday is undoubtedly a central value within Spanish culture—but it’s not the only one.

Recent history, classic writers, and common proverbs reveal other lessons, too. Here are 12 things that the world can learn from Spain.


Expat Kids’ Integration Levels Measured in Spain Reply

Expat kids Spain

It looks as though moving from the UK to sunny Spain isn’t too hard on so-called expat kids. Over three quarters of British expat adolescents have no major problems integrating into Spanish life, according to a recent widespread survey. The research was based on 7,000 children between ages 12 and 17. It calculated signals of adjustment problems such as dropping out of school, leaving home, unemployment or going to prison.  A huge 78.4% of the children of expats said that they had not experienced any of these incidents. On the other hand, only 4.3% registered two or more of the problems.


Spain’s Pro-Choice Movement Takes to the Screen Reply

Pro Choice Spain

There aren’t many films that do not seek to turn a profit and which are available to view online for free the day after opening nationwide. But for the makers of a new documentary about the campaign against Spanish government plans to introduce stricter abortion legislation, these are desperate times. Yo decido. El tren de la libertad (“I Decide. The Freedom Train”) opened Thursday, July 10 in cinemas, cafes and cultural centres across Spain and entrance was free of charge. Today it can be seen on the internet. It has been made by a collective of nearly 80 female film-makers, who aim to contribute to a cause they feel is “just and urgent: to ensure that neither in Spain nor in any other country the rights of women to decide freely regarding their bodies and sexuality are pushed back or renegotiated”.