The Insalud national health service in the Balearics is trying to prepare itself for the annual flu outbreak and a huge rise in the demand for hospital beds, but the health service has come in to conflict with the Balearic Health Service, which has managed to come up with just two extra beds. Javier Rodrigo de Santos, the director of Insalud in the Balearics, said yesterday that the Balearic Health Service is “pulling his leg” with its offer of two extra hospital beds. But de Santos said that he intends to continue trying to negotiate as “neither the flu nor the Balearic people” understand their attitude. Insalud want to reach an accord with the Balearic Health Service so that patients suffering from flu or other respiratory problems can be treated at the General Hospital and the Joan March Hospital which are run by the Balearic Health Service. Insalud is trying to avoid a repeat of last year's bed shortage before the flu epidemic takes hold on the Balearics. Insalud wants the Balearic Health Service to make 50 beds available, two beds will do nothing to help in the event of a critical situation. De Santos explained that if the Balearic Health Service improves the operating of its hospitals, on average a patient is pending 11 days in its two hospitals, whereas Insalud is averaging between 4'5 and 7'5 days, in order to make the extra beds needed available.

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