- The president of the Provincial Council, Carlos Mazón, considers that public management “would be a serious mistake because important investments are at stake and any change may be a step backwards in the quality of care”, as has happened with the Alzira Hospital
The President of the Diputation, Carlos Mazón (PP), has requested an interview with the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig (PSOE) so that he can “have the opportunity to personally explain the reasons” why he considers it necessary “to extend the management of the Torrevieja Hospital” to Ribera Salud.
Mazón says that in October 2021 the concession of the private management of Torrevieja Hospital by Ribera Salud, and of all primary care (local medical) centres, will end.
“In recent months we have heard many different versions about the future of the concession, but if we are guided by those made by Ana Barceló, head of the Ministry of Health, we understand that the Consell intends not to extend the current contract,” he added.
Mazón explained that “this reversal would be a serious mistake since, in addition to which, significant investment will be lost which may lead to a step backward in the quality of care, as has been happening at the Alzira Hospital, where the data of the Ministry of Health shows a notable increase in spending and, what is more detrimental to the public, a large increase in waiting lists.”
Health Conselleria, Ana Barceló, recently told the Valencian Courts, in response to a question from Podemos, that the Generalitat intends to continue with its road map and recover the direct management of Torrevieja, which since 2006, has been carried out by Ribera Salud (a company of the North American insurer Centene Corporation).
Legally, the regional administration must inform Ribera Salud of its intention to cancel the management contract one year before the end of its term, in October of this year.
President Ximo Puig, meanwhile, has left open the possibility of prolonging the concession in his statements to different media outlets, prior to the announcement by Barceló in the Cortes.
Torrevieja has a population of about 160,000 users with health cards (186,000 according to the Generalitat) which included the residents of Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa, Pilar de la Horadada, Guardamar del Segura, Rojales, San Fulgencio, San Miguel de Salinas, Los Montesinos, Benijófar and Formentera del Segura and, in addition to building the Torrevieja Hospital, in an investment made by the concessionaire as part of its contract, it manages the five health centres in Torrevieja, Guardamar, Rojales, Orihuela Costa, San Miguel and Pilar de la Horadada and the network of clinics across the department.
With a surgical waiting list of just 90 days, Torrevieja Hospital has the shortest delay for those awaiting operations in the entire province. In Alicante’s Hospital de San Joan, which is managed by Ana Barceló’s Ministry of Health, the average wait to undergo surgery is 276 days, 9 months.