Orihuela has said that it will build a second medical centre on the coast if their proposal is rejected by the Ministry of Health.

The City Council says that it is currently finalising their search for a suitable municipal plot of land for its construction which is absolutely necessary in order to better serve the coast and to reduce the pressure that the current facility is under. The councillor for health, José Galiano, has said that the council will earmark 300,000 euro from the municipal budget.

Once the plot is earmarked the intention of the Council is to offer it up to the Ministry of Health to build a second centre.

However, councillor Galiano, says he is not confident that the offer will be accepted after the previous refusal of the Ministry of Health to construct a second health centre which they said was based on the fact that the area does not meet the population requirement in that a sufficient number of SIP cards are not registered.  The current criteria is that about 20,000 people need to be registered for a health centre, so with just over 30,000 residents the Orihuela Costa already has one centre but not the sufficient number for a second.

If the Ministry does refuse the offer the Councilor for Health, says that he has a “plan b” which will see the construction of a satellite medical office that will free some of the burden from the current clinic.

He said that it will be located on the land that the City Council is currently hoping to identify, and that it would be some way from the current Aguamarina health center so as to redistribute the work to two areas so as to reduce the travel times of the users and the doctors who will be working from the new clinic.

For this, the councillor plans to reserve around 300,000 euros in the 2020 budgets (not yet approved) to ensure that the work of the medical office can be undertaken should the Ministry not take up the offer.

Galiano is aware of the overload that the Aguamarina health centre has been experiencing since 2005 as he both works there as a nurse and is also a resident of the Orihuela Costa.

“Orihuela Costa is very large municipality and it is a largely tourist area, with many foreign residents who come and go on a regular basis. It also has many national and many international tourists who spend their summer holidays in the area, and it is not practical for many of them to register on the padron” he added.

The intention of the Department of Health is to explain to the Ministry, and hopefully make them understand, the uniqueness of Orihuela Costa, as a tourist area with a high number of residents who spend long periods, but do not register, and that also welcomes many tourists during holiday periods.

“We are going to tell them that the criteria they use is not appropriate to the Orihuela Costa and we will ask for a second health centre using different parameters,” Galiano said.

Galiano has already explained the council’s plans to neighborhood groups including CLARO at a recent meeting. He said that his proposals were well received and that members urged him to follow the plan through as a matter of urgency.

There the neighbours insisted that what they need is another health centre so they urged him to complain to the Generalitat. The councillor took advantage of the meeting to encourage all residents of Orihuela Costa to register in order to achieve an improvement in services.

The councillor also took advantage of the meeting to encourage residents of Orihuela Costa to register on the padron in order to achieve an improvement in services.

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