Hospi­tal to be 'de­pri­va­tised'

Regional health au­thor­i­ties to start talks with Ma­rina Salud about break­ing con­tract five years ear­lier

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Sa­man­tha Kett

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.

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