Hospital to be 'deprivatised'
Regional health authorities to start talks with Marina Salud about breaking contract five years earlier
Regional government wants to break Marina Salud contract five years ahead of schedule to de-privatise Dénia Hospital.
DÉNIA Hospital is the next to be de-privatised – five years earlier than originally planned.
In fact, the Marina Alta district health service could even be back under public management before summer.
Regional president Ximo Puig, of the socialists, made this unexpected announcement a week after the private management firm which ran Alzira Hospital was given the elbow, returning it to the public sector after over 20 years.
Pressure has been on from patients, staff and several town councils for Dénia Hospital and the GP surgeries that serve the district's 33 towns and villages to be un-privatised, but regional authorities have always said they would have to wait for the contract with the management firm, Marina Salud, to expire.
It runs out at the end of 2022, and Puig's government has said it would cost millions to break the deal early.
But now on a roll after Alzira, Puig says he will start the process of rescinding the contract with Marina Salud in the next two months.
He is confident this will be a success ' through dialogue between all parties' and ' focusing on providing the best-quality health care' in a 'patient-centred process'.
The regional government aims to de-privatise all hospitals in the three provinces as soon as their management company contracts expire, unless 'special circumstances dictate' that this should take place earlier.
Unlike Alzira Hospital's clockwork efficiency, which has long been praised by patients, Dénia's medical care has been subject to complaints since its privatisation in early 2009.
Whilst waiting lists have been drastically cut, delays in A&E can run into nine hours, with patients left to their own devices in a cold, overcrowded waiting room.
Lack of information, misdiagnoses and backlogs of over six months to analyse CT scans have featured heavily among anecdotal evidence that the system may not be perfect.