A PATIENTS group has demanded a meeting with health bosses after it alleged that speech therapy services had been withdrawn in parts of Alicante province.

The AERBECO association (Association for Rare Diseases in the Benidorm area) claims that a company overseeing the treatments had not been paid by the Valencian Health Ministry ‘for months’ and ended its services on November 17.

In a statement, AERBECO said the withdrawal ‘affects the Marina Baixa, the Marina Alta and other coastal areas’ and means that ‘patients are going without needed treatment’.

The association has asked for urgent talks with the Health Ministry and the head of the Marina Baixa Health Department, adding that outside companies should not be offering such a service.

It explained that ‘most rare diseases need speech therapists to improve speech, improve facial paralysis, dysphonia, etc’.

“It’s a rehabilitation for our quality of life and patients are without this treatment.” the group said.

AERBECO has launched a protest campaign to call for a permanent speech therapy unit and are collecting signatures every Friday morning at Benidorm’s Jose Llorca Linares social centre.

There has been no comment so far from the Valencian Health Ministry.

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