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Haemodialysis service

foto 2020 carta dialisiFRANCINA ARMENGOL

Formentera, 17 December 2020

Madame President,

Healthcare services at the national and regional levels are deeply impacted by the public health crisis in which we are today immersed. We are aware of this fact, as we are aware of efforts in the Balearics to guarantee a quality public service for all, no matter the illness. Nevertheless, the declaration of emergency orders affected certain islanders particularly, and some of these circumstances have yet to be put right, requiring immediate attention. I am referring to dialysis treatments.

Under the state of emergency, dialysis patients residing on Formentera were made to travel to Eivissa receive treatment. Severely reduced ferry service meant this was no easy endeavour, as it amounted to spending an entire day on our sister island. The situation would be inconvenient for any Formentera resident, but in this case those affected were people suffering ill health.

The patients’ situation has remained unchanged since the lifting of emergency orders. They are still called upon to travel to Eivissa, an undertaking that involves three days per week of ferry travel at the very least.

We must put ourselves in the places of these doubly vulnerable individuals. The first risk they face is on account of the chronic illnesses they suffer. The second is on account of Covid-19. Frequent travel magnifies both.

These individuals’ suffering has galvanised islanders’ sense of solidarity, apparent in the 2,829 signatures which we share with you today. In September, plenary members of the Consell de Formentera voted to urge the regional government to reinstate dialysis on Formentera, not least because our hospital, having already provided the service in the past, is already equipped with the necessary machinery and personnel. In June representative Sílvia Tur proposed a non-legislative motion for debate in the Balearic commission on health, and more recently, local decision makers approved an amendment to the Formentera budget creating funding to reinstate the service.

I, myself, as president, have had the opportunity to sit down with an association of Formentera dialysis patients and to hear their description of the situation.

These patients and I speak for the Consell de Formentera and all of the undersigned when we insist on the following point: There must be a way to reinstate dialysis treatment on Formentera and improve the quality of life of these already vulnerable patients.

May the signatures collected and here attached support our call for a hasty restitution of dialysis service, taking into account the ongoing public health crisis and the affected individuals’ distinct vulnerability.

We welcome any efforts to respond to this issue in greater depth, and to shape collaboration or proposals to deliver resolution.


Patient representatives

Alejandra Ferrer
President, Consell Insular de Formentera

Formentera asks for stricter controls to ensure compliance with Covid measures

foto 2020 reunio seguretat brot 2Amid a rise in cases of islanders affected by Covid-19, a special emergency meeting was held today to coordinate controls and inspection operations by security forces like Formentera Local Police, Civil Guard and emergency response services of the Govern balear.

The gathering was attended by Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer, vice-president and trade councillor Ana Juan, interior councillor Josep Marí, inspection services councillor Antonio J. Sanz, FLP chief Félix Ramos and representatives of the Civil Guard and regional emergency response service.

President Ferrer expressed her concern over seven new local infections that brought the total number of individuals on the island affected by Covid to 26, up from seven two days ago. The individuals in question, all of whom either display mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, are receiving at-home care from healthcare workers.

Given the current state of play and predictions that Covid cases will continue to multiply, President Ferrer said the Consell had asked security forces to “coordinate and tighten controls and educational efforts, particularly in enclosed spaces like retail outlets and restaurants and outdoor areas like parks, plazas and beaches, in order to ensure strict compliance with local public health measures”.

Ferrer said that later today the Consell would ask the regional government about a change in the response level, or tougher measures before the Christmas holiday, “in an effort to contain the virus right now”.

Updating protocol
Setting out to reduce spread of the virus as much as possible, attendees of the internal working meeting revised protocol and safety measures in place at gatherings which are hosted by local government and Consell-backed sporting events.

The president additionally announced that the Formentera Mostra de Músics originally set to take place at 6.00pm tomorrow (Friday 18 December) and 12 noon on Sunday the 20th would be postponed due to the public health situation. The Consell de Formentera and Musical Formentera opted to suspend the programme as several members of participating bands had been in close contact with the individuals who contracted the disease.

Ferrer also appealed for “careful monitoring” to make sure that the close contacts in question respected quarantine orders.

Finally, the president called on islanders to “be responsible. This is a very complex situation and we need to work together. We hope that when the vaccine arrives we’ll be able to put this behind us, but it’s important we all make it through this, each and every one of us”.

17 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Alejandra Ferrer urges islanders to double down on Covid-19 precautions

President calls meeting tomorrow Thursday to coordinate safety response

Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer has asked island residents to intensify Covid-19- related precautions. Pointing to the discovery of 11 local cases, Ferrer asserted, “Now more than ever, we need to be extremely strict about respecting public health measures”.

New Covid infections had progressively fallen since the end of summer, with the island reporting a five-day stretch of zero cases from 2 December. But the Consell has insisted the island keep its collective guard up since the crisis began, reiterating that Formentera’s flatlining case count didn’t mean islanders were free to forget about the pandemic. “At the present moment Covid still claims hundreds of lives every day and continues its inexorable march across the planet”, said the president.

Infections have been up since 7 December, coinciding with the long weekend early in the month. “Yesterday, 15 December, we had 7 active cases”, said Ferrer, “and with the latest flare-up, we’re at 19, including one newly hospitalised individual and two freshly declared infections. So I’m issuing a special plea to the island as a whole: now is no time to relax.”

Gathering of security forces
The president has announced an emergency meeting on safety for 1.00pm tomorrow, Thursday 17 December, to coordinate control operations and inspections among security forces like Formentera Local Police, the Civil Guard and regional emergency response teams. Local police have additionally prepared a strategy to tighten controls and ensure protocol compliance at indoor spaces and public areas.

“These are unique circumstances and they run counter to how we normally function as a collective, particularly with Christmas on the horizon. But remember, more than gathering for the holidays, what’s important is that we’re all in good health for celebrations still to come. The public health situation has gotten worse since the long weekend and, if things continue, we’re not ruling out the option of urgently calling for more restrictive protocol before Christmas.”

Lastly, Ferrer voiced her hope that the islanders infected with Covid-19 —currently at home with mild symptoms or asymptomatic— recover quickly, and she asked that those individuals’ close contacts help curb further spread by respecting preventive measures and quarantine orders.

16 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Letter regarding inter-island controls


Madame President,

The approaching holidays will mean a marked increase in mobility, not just between the Balearic Islands and mainland Spain, but between the islands too — a situation quite similar to the one expected with the long weekend in early December.

Several days ago you proposed implementing from 20 December various controls (PCR screenings at points of departure, antigen tests at ports and airports) on visitors to the Balearics. The subject of inter-island travellers, however, was left unmentioned.

The current situation is different on each island, and we know that the smallest of actions can carry drastic consequences.

For example, many teachers on Formentera hail from assorted corners of Mallorca, a place at high risk of Covid-19 infections. Should these teachers spend the holidays with their families —a decision that would be entirely understandable and deserving of our respect— the fallout from returning Covid-19 cases that elude detection and tracing could be disastrous. Considering teachers’ contact with Formentera children, the situation could set off an avalanche of outbreaks. On a small island like ours and given the healthcare infrastructure we share with Eivissa, the effects would be difficult to gauge or contain.

The same would occur when individuals who study on Mallorca came to Formentera spend the holidays with their families, or when their families went to visit them.

These are but two examples that illustrate our current situation, and they could be extrapolated across the Balearic Islands.

So we at the Consell de Formentera wish to express our concern. In order to guarantee everyone’s right to a safe return, control measures for inter-island travellers must be identical to those applied to travellers from outside the region.

Travel within the region is envisaged under emergency orders, but high case counts on particular islands warrant a volunteer system of controls to stem inter-island spread of Covid-19.

And so, Balearic residents who stay more than 72 hours on an island with over 150 cases per hundred thousand inhabitants should be able to opt for free, scheduled screenings, the same as those offered during the long weekend earlier this month.

On Formentera we’ve always asked that measures be commensurate to our situation, and that doesn’t mean forgetting the solidarity that’s now more vital than ever. The curfew was our occasion to demonstrate just how seriously we take this cohesion. Today we are in phase one of lockdown, but the situation could change from one day to the next. Timely preventive measures are our primary means of making sure it doesn’t.

The Consell de Formentera is at your service for any collaboration we can offer.


Alejandra Ferrer Kirschbaum
President, Consell Insular de Formentera

Regional budget for 2021 includes over €18M for Formentera

foto 2020 pressu caibA presentation of the Balearic government’s 2021 spending plan was attended earlier today by Consell premiere Alejandra Ferrer; Balearic tax office and foreign relations minister Rosario Sánchez; president’s office, culture and equality minister Pilar Costa and spending director Joan Ignasi Morey. Other Formentera officials also on hand were economy, tax office and general services councillor Bartomeu Escandell and the island’s three deputy premieres: Ana Juan, Susana Labrador and Rafael Ramírez. The press conference was preceded by a working meeting.

The officials highlighted nearly €16.1 million expected to benefit Formentera under the new plan. Half that figure —€8.8M in current transfers and €3.3M in capital transfers— will go directly to the Consell. 2021 investment from the Balearic ministries and public-sector firms and entities in the region approach €4M. And, during the regional parliament’s review of the budget, an additional €2.3M in additional investment was unlocked thanks to amendments proposed by provincial deputy Sílvia Tur.

In the words of President Ferrer, “with all the uncertainty in 2020, government must join in common cause to help vulnerable people, families and businesses and those the crisis has hit the hardest”. She also underscored the importance of renewing “safeguards for the land and environment”.

Among the leading Govern-funded projects, President Ferrer pointed up plans for new low-cost housing in Sant Ferran, earth-smart upgrades and the future museum of Formentera, about which she added, “We’ve no time to lose”. Ferrer additionally underscored pledges made in the past by Madrid and Palma to unlock funding to retrofit the island’s established tourism hubs, and appealed to use European Union funds to finance phase two of refurbishments in Es Pujols.

Rosario Sánchez pointed out that the budget —the current administration’s second and the first since the outbreak of the pandemic which, in Sánchez’s words, “has shaken our world and community”— offers “stability and confidence” in a moment of uncertainty, and is marked by “exceptional political will” in the face of this “emergency situation”.

The regional chiefs described the most substantive areas of planned local investment as the environment and hydraulic facilities, including a €0.5M pilot deposit-return system for single-use recipients; new projects to expand and upgrade Formentera’s water treatment plant; work on the sewage pipe of the local desalination plant; improvements on wastewater pumping station pipes.

Agricultural initiatives include infrastructure-enhancing sustainable irrigation project powered by reclaimed water and EU funding to the tune of €600,000 from 2021 to 2023. There is also money to defray operational costs at slaughterhouses.

Construction of 12 units of low-cost housing in Sant Ferran is expected to start in early 2021.

The regional health authority has indicated that 2021 will also see the start of work to equip Formentera with an 061 emergency response service. Among the three mobile on-call units there will be one ambulance to provide basic support, another for advanced support and a third unit for scheduled non-emergency transfers of patients. One-point-two million euros have already been set aside for the project, which could be expanded moving forward.

The energy transition and innovation figure prominently among projected investment too. There are subsidies for investments in solar panels at government buildings, in energy communities, for business and to pay for improvements at municipal markets. Additional spending is planned for the Foundation for the Formentera Museum and Cultural Centre, the Formentera Museum and celebrations on Balearic Islands Day.

10 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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