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Geoffrey Gartland cutting the purple ribbon - with Dawn.
On Tuesday a brand new British Family Medical Centre opened in the heart of Albir. Following the closure of the only one late last year - due to retirement, a big gap was left in the market. Albir has a huge ex-pat community and many of those are retired older people who do not feel comfortable going to the Centro de Salud, Spains equivalent of the local Health Centre. They either do not speak or do not speak enough Spanish to be able to converse comfortably with the doctor. Incidentally, it is a requirement that you, as the patient bring an interpretor at your expense - unlike in the UK where it is the health authorities obligation to provide you with one. Alot of the Spanish doctors DO speak English but have been instructed by the health authority not to communicate in English because if there is a mistake due to an incorrect translation then they could be sued!
Swish relaxed reception
Amanda Collins and Dawn Blythe - both British registered nurses realised their dreams to open their very own  Medical Centre. Amanda has lived in Spain for 7 years and Dawn for 15 years - both had previously worked together and are well known to the local community, so it was a natural step for them.
The centre was officially opened by Geoffrey Gartland, Managing Director of Round Town News - a free weekly English paper. Geoffrey takes an active interest in local ex-pat businesses and particularly those concerned with health matters after his mother was taken ill and he had to employ a private English nurse. "He has been a source of inspiration and encouragement throughout the long and stressful months leading up to today" said Dawn at the opening ceremony.
Their aim is to bring affordable health care in a friendly and caring environment. With the economic situation in mind they have priced consultations at only 38€ - no matter how long it takes!
One of the many consultation rooms.
Many locals attended the opening and were invited to look around the facilities and speak to the clinicians, therapists and specialist. Only a month ago the site was a bare and derelict shell and it is hard to believe the change in such a short space of time ... especially here in Spain!
They offer virtually every kind of medical service you could need and welcome not only residents but visitors and  holiday makers too.
You can find the "Family Medical Centre" on the main Avd. del Albir - about half way down on the left hand side just before the large municipal carpark. The contact number is 966 865 072 - make a note, you never know if and when you might need it!