Regional government hits out at report on Torrevieja health department
By Dave Jones A REPORT which claims the management of Torrevieja health department by a private company saves the public purse €45 million a year has been rubbished by the regional government.
Health department director general for efficiency in Valencia, Carmelina Pla stated this week that the assessment carried out by the regional audit office had failed to take into account important aspects of the management process.
The coalition of Socialists (PSOE) and Compromís that runs the Valencia region has positioned itself firmly against the policy of the former Partido Popular (PP) executive which sought to ‘privatise’ health by bringing in companies to run departments, such as the one in Torrevieja operated by Grupo Ribera Salud. Since coming to power in 2015 the coalition has moved to bring these health areas back under direct public control by rescinding contracts to the companies
Sra Pla noted that the audit office had not taken into consideration the fact that they were dealing with a private company in Torrevieja.
She argued that any assessment of the ‘value’ of having the health area run by a private company should not be based on the contract drawn up by the previous government.
“The economic impact of their management for the health department cannot be the only test used to value the service they provide, or to maintain this management model,” she added.
Sra Pla also criticised that the audit office had failed to properly investigate the terms of the contract and whether it had led to more efficiency, or was in the public interest.
However, she noted that auditors had criticised the former PP government for failing to carry out any checks on the private management of health departments, which allowed for a free-forall. She said that deficiencies in the contracts which did not take into account additional costs of the service had been just one of the reasons which proved that this form of private management ‘has run its course’.
“It reinforces our idea that quality healthcare can only be offered via the public sector,” she stated. Three National Police officers from Cartagena miraculously saved the life of two-year-old baby girl Isabel last Thursday. The officers were at the mother’s apartment to talk to her about a report of alleged domestic abuse, when little Isabel suddenly went into spasms in her cradle and stopped breathing. One of the officers performed a basic resuscitation technique, then they rushed her to a nearby health centre which has an A&E unit. “We didn’t how long it would take the ambulance to arrive and we could not wait,” one of the officers said. The child was stabilised and taken to Santa Lucía hospital by ambulance for tests. Isabel’s mother visited the national police station with her little daughter to thank her ‘three heroes’ and handed over a thank you letter. She said the doctors had said her daughter survived without brain injury thanks to the quick action of the officers. “My daughter owes her life to you,” she wrote.
Are the days numbered for Ribera Salud at Torrevieja hospital?