Interview with Health Clinic Director David Donaldson

Founded by David Donaldson, a nurse with over 22 years experience in many countries, Medicare Nursing Services opened it’s doors in 2001. Situated in La Cala de Mijas in the province of Málaga, the team consists of highly trained professionals who specialise in individual holistic healthcare.

How and why was Medicare Nursing Services set up?
Medicare Nursing Services was formed  to service the needs of the local expatriate community and fill the large gap left by the services offered by local hospitals and GP surgeries. Initially started as a community nursing team offering a full range of home based nursing care, this later led to the opening of our Nurse led clinic. The ethos of Medicare is and always has been to provide a service that is needs led and client focused.

What type of service do you offer?
• A comprehensive service catering for all your health needs  • Access to highly trained Doctors, Specialists and Nurses  • The latest equipment and facilities  • Highly skilled complementary therapists  • A care co-ordination centre
• Well Woman Clinic  • Men’s Health Clinic  • Diabetes Clinic  • Asthma Clinic  • Vaccination Clinic (Children & Travel)
• Wound Care Clinic  • Hypertension Clinic  • Weight management  • Occupational Therapy  • Health Assessments
• Chiropody  • General Practitioners  • Dyslexia Assessment  • Nutrition  • Community Mental Health Team
• Counselling Service  
• Complementary Therapies  • Yoga & Meditation Classes

As well as the comprehensive list of services offered via our clinic we continue to deliver home and hospital based nursing care from wound dressings to full 24 hour palliative nursing, 365 days a year.

Why would people choose Medicare as opposed to their local Doctor/Clinic?
Clinica Medicare is your British Health Centre here on the Costa del Sol, bringing you a service that is familiar and in your own language. We pride ourselves on the holistic care that we offer all our clients. We are not a company motivated by money but a team of UK trained professionals who are motivated by the client care that we deliver.

How often do you suggest that women should have a smear test & from what age?
In line with current EU recommendations we suggest that women have their smear test done yearly. Currently in the UK smears tests are offered to all women aged 25 plus, this changed recently following the untimely death of Jade Goodey. We recommend that all women who are sexually active need to have a yearly smear test regardless of age.

What is the best way to prevent Cervical Cancer?
Prevention & early detection is your best protection. Using condoms and limiting the amount of sexual partners can reduce the risk of cervical cancer. Don’t ignore changes or symptoms, get them checked out.

What is the incidence of cervical cancer in Spain and how do you treat it?
There are no figures available for the latest incident rate of cervical cancer in Spain. 123 women a day will be diagnosed with cancer and 8 out of 10 of these will survive. Cervical Cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer if caught earlier enough. There are many forms of treatments available. It is worth noting that Spain has been recently voted no 1 out of 27 EU countries for its diagnosis and treatment of all forms of cancer.

Do you find that women who have moved to Spain from abroad do not have smear tests as regularly as they would if they had stayed in there own country?
On average 20% of women will not attend for there smear test regularly. For Women living in Spain I believe there are several contributing factors: language, the culture and how the procedure is carried out (often by a male Doctor without a female present) and fear. There is also the cost factor for those women who are not registered with a local GP or entitled to free health care. It’s worth bearing in mind that at Clinica Medicare a Smear test costs €50.00 approx 90cents per week.  We also have a smear recall service to remind all of our clients when there smear is due.

How often should women have mammography?
Mammography is recommended every 3 years and is available free of charge to all women over 40 years of age in Spain, either via the social security or one of the local cancer charities. We believe that breast screening should be available to all regardless of age. The incidence of breast cancer in young women continues to increase. Self examination is essential and it is very important that all women know how to exam there breasts and become familiar with how the tissue feels.

What other screening services do you offer women at your clinic?
We offer a full range of comprehensive services and provide clinics to look at all aspects of women’s health, from contraception and pregnancy through to menopause.

What is the incidence of prostate cancer in Spain and how is it best prevented?
Spain has no current data available on the incident rates of prostate cancer but it is anticipated that 1 man dies every hour of prostate cancer in the UK alone. Due to the location of the prostate gland men are reluctant to seek medical assistance and fear that they will need to undergo a physical examination to test if the prostate gland is enlarged. The good news for men is that things have moved on and we can now assess a man’s prostate from a simple blood test. Again don’t ignore the symptoms as prevention & early detection is their best protection. Stimulation of the prostate gland is a useful tool to help prevent the gland from enlarging and from the cells changing.

For women reading this, how can they persuade their partners/husbands to be tested for prostate cancer?
Men are notoriously bad at accessing health care. We are currently running a campaign to educate men about prostate cancer and that now, it’s just a simple blood test. We all need to take responsibility for our own health and regular health screening is a key part to staying healthy.

Can you give us an idea of the costs for the above screening processes?
Cervical Smears €55.00
Breast screening (mammogram or Ultrasound with mini consult) €60.00
PSA (prostate) bloods €30.00
Consultations: €40.00

What specialist services do you offer children?
We offer a comprehensive range of clinics for children starting with  midwife services and all antenatal care, postnatal care, children’s immunisations, developmental checks and childhood diseases.

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