Balearic Health Minister has stepped in to mediate between the Insalud national health service and Balearic ambulance drivers in the dispute over more funding and vehicles. Last Saturday 60 ambulances and 150 drivers caused chaos as they protested through the heart of Palma and warned that, unless Insalud starts listening to their demands, an all out strike will be called at the end of this week. The Balearic Association of Ambulance Drivers wants to see the health service invest an extra 600 million pesetas in the local service and provide 40 more ambulances in order to help the service meet the demands of the population. The President of the Ambulance Association, José María García Ruiz, met the Health Minister yesterday morning for talks and, having spoken to Salom and explained the situation, the Association has promised not to embark on any further industrial action. Salom said that a deal can be worked out and that “no further” pressure will be needed on behalf of ambulance drivers. According to García Ruiz, the 80 ambulances in the Balearics are not enough to meet the health needs of the growing population. With the 80 ambulances, an average of 360'000 transfers of patients to hospitals and clinics are made every year and the service is at its limit.

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